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m ■• 

THE.--, f WV: 

• • • • 







- • • • . ' • • : : • .• • ' 


/''irsl Edition 1916 
Reprinted 1917, 1918 

^'^ / 


In 1910 groups were formed in various centres in Canada, 
Australia, New Zealand and South Africa for studying the 
nature of citizenship in the British Empire, and the mutual 
relations of the several communities thereof. In course of 
time others were constituted in the United Kingdom, India 
and Newfoundland, and they all came to be known 
informally as * Round Table Groups,' from the name of the 
quarterly review instituted by their members as a medium 
of mutual information on Imperial affairs. 

The task of preparing or editing a comprehensive report 
on this subject was undertaken by the present writer. 
Preliminary studies were distributed to the groups for 
criticism, and their criticisms, when collected, were printed 
and circulated for their mutual information. On the basis 
of materials so gathei-ed, the final report was projected in 
three principal parts. In Part I. it was proposed to deal 
with the question how and why the British Commonwealth 
came to exist, to trace the causes which led to its disruption 
in 1788, and to the establishment of a separate common- 
wealth in America. The subsequent growth of the dis- 
membered Commonwealth was to be dealt with in Part II. 
In Part III. it was proposed to examine the principles upon 
which, and the means whereby, the members of its widely 



scattered communities can hope to retain their present status 
as British citizens in a common state. 

Part I. was prepared in five instalments, four of which 
were completed before the war. Each instalment was 
printed and circulated to the groups as it was finished. The 
text was revised in the light of the corrections and criticisms 
sent in, and at the close of 1914 was reprinted for private 
circulation under the title of ^Fhe Project of a Commonwealth^ 
Part I. 

Meanwhile, in view of the situation created by the war, it 
was decided to anticipate the completion of the main report 
by a brief study of that aspect of the subject which most 
nearly concerns the self-governing Dominions. This short 
volume has now been published under the title of The 
Problem of the Commonwealth. Part I. of the larger work is 
now given to the public in order that students may examine 
the foundations upon which the conclusions adduced in The 
Problem of tfie Commonweaitk are based. To avoid confusion 
with the smaller volume, the title of the main report has 
been changed to The Commonwealth of Nations. 

The Round Table groups were organized for the purpose 
of study, and men representing every shade of opinion 
joined them, on the understanding that they would not be 
committed to conclusions of any kind. The only way in 
which this understanding can be observed in the spirit, as 
well as in the letter, is for the editor to make himself solely 
responsible for producing these reports, and for all they 
contain. They must not be presumed to express the 
opinions of any Round Table group, or member of such 
group, other than himself. On the other hand, it must be 
emphatically stated that the main report is the work of 
various brains and pens. It is the product not of one 
writer but of many working in close collaboration. No 
single brain could master the facts required for an adequate 


survey of the complicated polity which embr^U^s a quarter 

of the human race. However, for the reasons given above, 

the editor must be treated as the sole taiget of criticism. 

For further information with regard to these reports the 

reader is referred to the preface of TTie Problem of the 

Commonwealih already published. 

L. Curtis. 


At the comers are insignia of the four parts of the United 
Kingdom. On the top is the Star of India, at the bottom 
the sphinx, symbolic of Egypt. On the left, the cod-fish 
typifies Newfoundland, the maple leaf Canada, the fleur-de-lis 
Quebec, the five-starred Southern Cross Australia, while the 
palm tree, shell and pine apple suggest the numerous islands 
in the West Indies and the Southern Seas. On the right, 
the negro^'s head is to signify Tropical Africa. The four- 
starred Southern Cross is the crest of New Zealand, and the 
trek- wagon that of the Transvaal. The anchor, as repre- 
senting the Cape of Good Hope, together with the Southern 
Cross, stands for South Africa, while Rhodesia is signified by 
the Zimbabwe bird. A number of these ancient figures were 
found sculptured on the top of soap-stone posts on the ruins 
of Zimbabwe in Rhodesia, and there can be little doubt that 
they formed a link with the ancient civilization of Northern 
Africa. Some were brought to Capetown and one was placed 
in the Chamber where the Cabinet sat ; and the councillors 
were at times reminded by Rhodes that they spoke in the 
presence of three thousand years. Wooden reproductions of 
these birds were introduced by the designer of this cover as 
terminals on the great staircase of Grootschuur, the famous 
house which Rhodes built at the Cape and afterwards left 
as a residence for the Prime Minister of a future South 
African Union. 

The enveloping sea is expressed by a wave pattern, 
familiar to students of Maori art, and this also encircles the 
Commonwealth crown. Its numerous islands are represented 
by pearls. The ships are a reminder of the disciplined 
power which has given security to the Commonwealth and 
maintained law upon the sea. In place of the usual cushion 
at the base, a fringe of sharp points denotes what manner 
of crown it is that citizens of a true Commonwealth must 
wear. On the back is shown another aspect of the Crown. 
Some of the symbols, like those used for Rhodesia and 
Newfoundland, are not the official insignia of the countries 
for which they stand. Symbolism and decorative art have 
nowhere been sacrificed to the technical rules of heraldic lore. 

L. C. 





The Britisli Empire. Its size, character, and poBition in the 

world 1 

Cantaias all levels of society ....... 2 

Tribes distiDguished from states 8 

Theocratic state developed in Asia ...... 4 

Afaeolute daim of the state on its members .... 6 

Connection of theocracy with despotism 7 

Force in relation to government ...... 7 

Petrifying effect of theocracy on Asia .... 8 

European progress due to belief In free-will and ethical basis 

of society . . . . . . . . . 9 

Commonwealths the product of this view . . .10 

The commonwealth and freedom correlative ideas . .11 

Contact of Europe with other continents and its results . . 18 
Disruptive effect of European on older societies • .13 

British Empire produced by this contact . . .14 

The British Empire a state 14 

A commonwealth including all levels of civilisation . . 16 
Bespects in which that character is unrealised . . .16 
Plan of the inquiry 16 


EsJiLiXB Belatioivs or East akd Wbst 

Large states a natural product of theocracy . .19 
First appearance of commonwealths in Greece . , .19 
Pericles and Socrates on mutual duty as the basis of common- 
wealths 20 

Law moulded by experience the basis of freedom . .23 

The Greek commonwealth, its effect on history .24 

Its miniature size - ........ 25 

ix b 


Consequent inBtability of Greek society ..... 
Conflict of freedom with despotism opened by the Persian wars 
Commonwealths In Asia Minor enslaved by Persia, 646-546 b.g. 

Their revolt, 499 RC 

Their naval defeat at Lade due to disunion, 494 ac, 
Their submission to Asiatic civilization . 

Marathon, 490 b.0 

Thermopylae, 480 B.C 

Dependence of Xerxes on sea power 
Salamis, 480 b.c. .... 

Plataea and Mycale, 479 B.C 

Greece saved by free spirit especially of Athens 
But imperilled by want of national organization 

League of Delos, 477 ao 

The League a sham state .... 

Its perversion into an empire subject to Athens 

True and sham states distinguished 

Downfall of Athens, 404 B.a 

Recrudescence of Persian domination 

Macedonian domination, Chaeronea, 338 b.g. . 

Alexander's conquest of Asia, 326 B.c. . 

His attempt to correlate East and West . 

City commonwealths too weak to maintain freedom 

Rise of Rome and conflicts with Asia 

Athenian, Roman, and British Empires compared 

Rome becomes a despotism .... 

Extension of Roman citizenship 

Contribution to freedom of the Roman Empire 

Reversion of Roman despotism to theocracy . 

Destroyed by inroads from Asia 

Capital moved to Constantinople, a.d. 330 

Division of Empire and Church 

Destruction of Western Empire, a.d. 476, and rise of Franks 

Rise of Islam, a.d. 622 

Arab invasion defeated at Poitiers by Charles Martel, a.d. 732 

Pepin crowned King of Franks, a.d. 761 

Charlemagne crowned Emperor of the Romans, A.D. 800 

The Holy Roman Empire .... 

The German failure to realize statehood . 

Consequent failure to realize freedom 

Growth of national states on the Continent . 

National commonwealth developed in England 

NoTB A. — Reverdon of Rome to theocracy 

Note B. — Survival of Republican tradition in Roman law 














































Note C. — The mediaeval belief in universal monarchy 
Note D. — Survival of the theocratic idea in modem Europe 






The Engubh Commonwealth 

IiiBular character of England and its consequences 

Disimion of Saxons leading to feudalism 

Statehood imposed by Normans 

Development of law 

Supremacy of law 

British constitution produced thereby 

Power of altering law acquired from Crown by people 

Principle of representation developed from Teutonic custom 

Writ of Edward I 

' fiepresentation ' defined .... 
Acquisition by Parliament of legislative power 
And of executive control .... 
Conditions determining enlargement of commonwealths . 
Separate Parliament granted to English colonies in Ireland 
Fissiparous tendency of commonwealths 

Note A — The Rule df Law : its nature and general amplication 

Note B. — Recent attempts in the United Kingdom to anticipate 

Acts of Parliam£nt 

















I. The Opening of the Seas 

Conflict of freedom with autocracy precipitated by struggle for 
world power ....... 

Turkish conquest of Constantinopft, 1453 

Closure of land routes between Europe and Asia 

Henry the Navigator, 1418 

His development of ocean shipping .... 

Opening of Cape route to India, 1498 . 

Cruelties of Portuguese 

Discovery of South America by Columbus, 1492 

Of North America by Cabot, 1497 

Spanish Empire founded by Cortes, 1520, and Pizarro, 1532 

pircumnavigation of the globe, 1520 . 

Division of the world between Spain and Portugal by the Pope, 

Their monopoly of the sea and the issues raised thereby . 






The monopoly disputed by England . .139 
Sea power. Ite effect on the struggle .141 

The Spaniflh Armada, 1588 ' . 142 

II. Thb Opening of the Seas : its Effect in the East 

Dutch East India Company 143 

English East India Company . .144 
Struggles of Dutch, English, and Portuguese . .145 
Struggle of England and France . . .147 
Why the Company passed from trade to government in India . 147 
Transfer of Indian government from company to state . 150 
Incorporation of India in the Commonwealth .152 
Motives and character of British rule . . .155 
British responsibilities for backward races measured and ex- 
plained 157 

Wliy the Commonwealth's rule has been accepted . .163 

Why commonwealths rather than despotisms should govern 

backward races ........ 164 

The rule of law. Its importance to these races . .167 

Fabrigas v. Mostyn 168 

Success of British Empire due to institutions, not race 173 

Duty o{ the Commonwealth to backward races . .173 

Its need of strength and time to dischaige that duty 176 

III. The Opening of the Seas : its Effect in the West 

How Britain has borne the burden .... 

Its incapacity to bear it permanently .... 

Importance that burden should l^e shared by new countries 

English colonization of North American coast 

French occupation of the St. Lawrence and Mississippi 

Struggles of Britain and France for America . 

Their relative capacities for colonization 

Rigidity of Spanish methods ..... 

And also of the French autocracy ..... 

French skill in handling Indians ..... 

Motives of English colonization . . • . • 

Freedom accorded by English to private enterprise . 

Free institutions reproduced in America 

Instinctive hostility of Spanish autocracy 

Unsuitable character of first settlers .... 

The Pilgrim Fathers land in New England, 1620 . 

Their Constitution. Its nature considered 

Foundation of Massachusetts, 1629 .... 

Roman Catholic foundation in Maryland, 1632 






185 ' 
















Keligious toleration in English colonies. Its results . 206 

Success of the English due to liberty 210 

Sterilizing effect of ^French system in Canada . .213 

Power of adaptation in English colonies 214 

General results compared ., . 216 

Success and £Bkilure of English in realizing fireedom . .220 

Absence of Qermany from these struggles . . . .221 

Note A. — Interdependence of order and liberty. Duffertn and 

Cromer thereon ....... 222 

Note B. — Paton on results of unregulated contact of Europeans 

with a primitive society . . . .223 

Note C. — Bourne on methods of Spanish colonization . .227 
Note D. — Freeman^s dislike of government of dependencies by 

commonvjealths .... ... 227 

Note K — Realpolitik as expounded by Mostyn*s counsel, the 

Athenians, and the Oerman Chancellor . 230 


The Commercial Stbtem 

Economic and religious motives of colonization . . .238 
Attitude of English Goyemment towards colonial projects 240 

Mediaeval guilds and companies ...... 240 

Companies formed for oversea trade .241 

Companies formed for colonization .242 

Monopolies demanded by these companies from the state . 244 

Their dependence on state protection outside England . . 244 
The state's interest in revenue levied on colonial imports. 245 

Growth of contractual relations between Goremment and 

companies ......... 246 

Contractual relations with colonies embodied in Acts of Parlia- 
ment, circa 1660 848 

Principles of old colonial system ... 249 

Effect thereon of transfer of sovereignty from King to Parlia- 
ment .......... ,260 

Restrictions involved by commercial system .251 

Mutual character of system . . .252 

The policy of defence underlying it . .253 

Scottish, Irish, and colonial legislatures. Parliament's different 

relation to the executive . . . . .253 

Note A — Origin of the old colonial system . . .257 

Note B. — Fiscal relations of colonies to England thereunder . 257 


NoTi D.. 


Virginia Company's attempt to open foreign trads 
-GrowUi of the idea that England and the coUmiee 
could be united by a commercial bond . 




Thjb Inclusion op Scotland in the British Commonwealth 

Ci«ationof Scottish Parliament, 1314 

Union of English and Scottish Crowns, 1603 .... 

The Solemn League and Covenant, 1643 

Events leading to execution of Charles I. by English Parlia- 
ment, 1649 ......... 

Charles II. crowned by Scottish Parliament. Their forces 
defeated at Dunbar, 1660, and at Worcester, 1661 . 

Parliamentary union of Cromwell ...... 

Dissolution thereof at the Restoration, 1660 .... 

Scottish Parliaments of Charles II. 

James acknowledged as heir to the Crown by Scottish Parliament, 

The Bevolution and the Bill of Rights ..... 

Control of external affairs claimed by both Parliaments . 

Consequent deadlock ........ 

Impoverishment of ScoUand after the Union of the Crowns 
Attempts of Scottish Parliament to remedy this after the Re- 
volution ....... 

The Darien scheme . . 

The scheme sanctioned by the Scottish Parliament . 
Supported in London by rivals of the English East 
Company ....... 

The scheme thwarted by the English East India Company 

Fletcher demands separate ambassadors for Scotland 

Dependence of Scotland on British sea power . 

The Darien colony destroyed by Spain . 

Control of foreign affairs assumed by Scottish Parliament, 

Fletcher's proposal to separate the Crowns 

War with England contemplated by Scottish Parliament 

The Act of Security dividing the Crowns passed, 1703 

Negotiations for a parliamentary union opened 

A * Foederal Union ' desired by Scotland 

Fletcher's proposed solution . 

Seton of Pitmadden in favour of union . 

The Union carried, 1707. Its results . 

Its effect in creating a new state . 











Whj the English and Scottish PEirlianients were not preserved 

as provincial organs 295 

NoTB A. — Scotland and the Seottith Parliament in the Middle 

Age$ 296 

Note B. — Excltuion of Scotland before the Union from trade 

with the Englith colonies ..... 300 
NoTB C. — Attitude of English commercial interests to^oard 

Spanish territorial claims in seventeenth century 302 


Thb Ambrioan Colonies 

Summary of previous chapters . .303 

Adaptable character of English colonization .... 304 

Incapacity of colonial assemblies to handle Imperial interests . 305 
Their incapacity to control American interests . 305 

Consequent fjEulure to develop American patriotism . 306 

Imperial policy vitiated by commercial conceptions . . .307 
Imperial relations conceived by colonists as contractual . 303 

Acceptance by colonists of commercial system .... 309 

Its effects on British policy ....... 309 

{1} In creating a preference for slave colonies . . .311 

(2) In fostering smuggling in Northern Colonies .313 

Difficulty of enforcing trade regulations in British Empire 314 

Treasonable trade with the enemy . . .315 

Indifference of colonial opinion thereto . .316 

False psychology of the commercial system . . .318 

Patriotism weakened by want of exercise . .320 

Impracticable doctrines the product of irresponsibility . . 322 
Connection of patriotism with taxation . . . . .322 

Imperial and provincial distinguished from Dominion interests. 323 

The Olney despatch, 1895 324 

Not Imperial but American interests and chaiges the matter in 

dispute ^ . 326 

Incapacity of colonial asBemblies to settle boundary disputes 326 

Or to handle the Indian question . .327 

American constitution produced by the Albany Conference, 1754 330 
This proposal ignored by the colonial assemblies . .332 

Franklin urges enactment of Albany constitution by British 

Parliament 333 

Particularism of colonies noted by Kalm .... 334 
Pitt subsidises colonial assemblies with British money . .335 
General results summarized by Beer 336 



Maladminiatratlon the cause of Pontiac's rifling, 1703 . 337 

Cost of suppressing the Indians imposed on British tax-payer . 340 

Dilemma of British Gtovemment 340 

Importance of organic connection between executive and 

legislature ......... 342 

Defect in solution attempted by British Gk)vemment .343 

Grenville's measures for taxing America, 1764 . . . 345 

Failure of colonial assemblies to suggest a practicable alternative, 

1765 346 

Distinction of American from Imperial and Colonial interests 

not apprehended . . . . . .347 

Colonial representation in Parliament. Its possible effects . 348 
Advocated by Otia, Franklin, Smith, and Gi-enville . . 349 

Burke's declared objections thereto . . . . .351 

His real objections . . . . ... . . 356 

Effects of colonial representation considered . . . .357 

The Stamp Act passed, 1764. Its effect on American opinion 364 
The Stamp Act Congress at New York, 1764 . 365 

Hart on the methods of secessionists . . . . .365 

Their anxiety to prevent American representation in Parliament 366 
Principles of the commercial system adverse to an American 

Union 367 

Loyalist scheme for an American government frustrated . . 368 

Repealof the Stamp Act, 1766 369 

Distinction of internal and external taxation accepted by Towns- 

hend. His taxes, 1767 370 

Connection of sovereignty with the power of taxation . . 871 
Townshend's taxes imposed. Congress of Philadelphia, 1774, 

Lexington, 1775 372- 

Declaration of Independence, 1776 . . . . .373 

Americans assisted by France . ... . . .373 

Saratoga, 1777. The French Alliance, 1778. English Act of 

Renunciation, 1778 374 

Desperate condition of British affairs, 1780 .... 375 
Yorktown, 1781. Britain acknowledges American independ- 
ence, 1782 . ' 376 

Claim of Americans to remain neutral disregarded by com- 
batants 375 

Nature of citizenship and its inexorable claim . . .377 

Note A. — Influence of commercial ideas on colonial policy 378 

Note B. — Attitvde of American colonies towards Navigation Laws 380 

Note C. — Tendency of English statesmen to discourage growth of 

New England colonies . . .383 

Note D. — Evasion of Navigation Acts by New England merchants 384 


Note E. — Difficulty of mforcing Navigation ActSy cmd institution 
of Admiralty Courts ..... 

Note F. — Gorruption of Imperial customs ofUsrs in the colonies 

Note G. — Beer on colonial trade mth the enemy 

Note H. — British reply to the Olney despatch . 

Note I. — Lines of division amongst colonists in the war 

Note J. — Act of Parliament renouncing the claim to tax the 
colonies ........ 





Ireland and the British Commonwealth 

Prime cause of American Reyolution the colonial system . 419 

Results of the same system in Ireland ..... 420 

I. The Irish Colony and its Claim to Independence 

Irish isolation. Its consequences in early times . .420 

Survival of the tribal system . . . . .422 

Strongbow's conquest in twelfth century . . .422 

Henry II. acknowledged by Strongbow as overlord . . .423 
Nominal character of English rule . . . .423 

The English Pale 424 

Attempts to maintain English ascendency .... 425 

First Irish Parliament, 1296 426 

Yorkist sympathies in Ireland. Rebellions fomented there . 426 

Poyning's Law, 1495 427 

English colonization of Ireland in Tudor period . . 427 

, Quarrel between levels of civilization embittered by Reformation 429 

The Irish assisted by Spain ....... 431 

Irish tenures ignored by the English . . . .431 

Scottish plantation of Ulster, 1609-12 433 

Strafford in Ireland, 1633-9 433 

The Irish Rebellion, 1641 434 

Charles I. relies on Irish support; 1642-9 .... 434 
Atrocities of parliamentary generals . . . .435 

Ireland conquered by Cromwell, 1649 ..... 436 
CromwelFs confiscations . . . . .437 

Cromwell's parliamentary union reversed by Charles II. . 438 

James II. supported by the Irish against William of Orange, 

1689 439 

Battle of the Boyne, 1690 439 

Composition of Irish society examined ..... 439 
Trade and industry developed by Cromwellian settlers .441 

Colonial system applied to Irish trade . . . . 44 1 




Selfishness of commercial classes in Britain' . .442 

Ireland helpless to resist commercial system . . . .444 

Irish contributions to military defence ..... 446 

Decline of Irish industries and emigration of industrialists . 445 
Protestant emigration in the eighteenth century . . . 446 
Hatred of England by all classes ...... 447 

Legislative independence advocated by Molyneux, 1698 . 449 

Resolution of Irish Parliament in favour of union ignored, 1707 449 
Reversion to policy of Catholic repression. The penal laws . 4&0 
Effect on Irish character ....... 462 

Disabilities of Protestant Dissenters .463 

Means by which British Gk)vemment controlled Irish Parlia- 
ment .......... 463 

Failure of all these methods but corruption . . .456 

The Irish army a departure from the colonial system 456 

Townshend as Viceroy, 1767-72 468 

Agrarian discontent ........ 468 

Pasturage and rural depopulation in Ulster .459 

Sympathy in Ulster with American Revolution .461 

North's proposals to relieve Irish trade . .463 

Enrolment of the Irish Volunteers, 1779 .... 464 

Repeal of commercial restriction and of the Test Act secured 

by Qrattan 464 

The French fleet provisioned from Cork, 1780 .465 

Qrattan's motion for legislative independence defeated, 1781 . 466 
The Dungannon Convention, 1782 . . . . .467 
Grattan*8 independence resolutions carried, 1782 . .468 

Surrender of Shelbume and Fox to Grattan . .469 

II. The Irish Colony : from Indbpendencb to Union 

Gi-attan's faith in co-operation . . . . . .470 

Shelbume's proposal to settle Anglo-Irish interests rejected by 

Grattan . . . . . .471 

Grattan's advice to disband ignored by volunteers . . .472 

Flood demands an Act of Renunciation . . .473 

Act of Renunciation passed by British Parliament, 1783 . . 474 

Volunteers demand parliamentary reform . . .476 

Reform refused by Irish Parliament . . . . .476 

Fiscal relations of England and Ireland . . . .478 

Pitt's proposed settlement . . . . . . .479 

The naval contribution denounced . . . . . .481 

Irish navy advocated ........ 482 

Pitt's scheme accepted by Irish Parliament . . . .483 

Objections raised by British merchants and manufacturers . 484 



Pitt's amended proposals 

Fox's opposition ..... 

Pitt's amended proposals opposed by Grattan 

Demand for a separate Irish executive 

Irish navy demanded by Flood 

Pitt's proposals dropped 

The Regency dispute .... 

Pitt begins to think of legislative union . 
Dreams of an Irish Republic . 
The French Revolution. Its effects on Ireland 
Project for uniting republicans with Catholics 
Wolfe Tone and the Nootka Sound incident, 1789 
Irish neutrality in British wars advocated by Tone 
* United Irishmen' founded byTon^, 1791 
Catholic relief mishandled by Fitzwilliam, 1795 
Tone's intrigue with French Directory, 1795 . 
Disturbed condition of Ireland. Defenders and Orangem 
Failure of Hoche to land at Bantry Bay, 1796 ' . 
Grattan's irresponsible criticism of Government 
Growth of terrorism ...... 

The Nore and Spithead mutinies, May and June 1797 
Camperdown, October 8, 1797 
Outbreak of rebellion, 1798 . 
Humbert's invasion of Ireland, 1798 
Tone's suicide .... 

The rebellion suppressed 

The Union of England and Ireland carried, 1801 . 
Promise of Catholic emancipation unredeemed 
Incapacity of one Crown to unite two Parliaments . 
Time needed to cement union .... 

Anglo-Irish relations prejudiced by Irish divisions . 
True foundations of patriotism .... 

Radical defect in Anglo-Irish relations . 

Note A« — GrattanU argument compared with EdtDard 
NoTB B. — Lechfi account of the Nootka Sound incident 
NoTB C. — Toners pamphlet in favour of Irish neutrality 










































Thb American Commonwealth 

Relations of Scotland, Ireland, and the American colonies to 

England compared 540 

Theory of voluntary co-operation advanced by the colonists 541 




Colonists committed by seceseion to testing the theory . .542 
The tea thrown overboard at Boston, December 16, 1773^ . 542 

Lexington, April 19, 1775 643 

Washington appointed General by Congress of Philadelphia, 

May 10, 1775 643 

Bunker's Hill, June 17, 1775 545 

Weakness of American patriotism ...... 545 

Washington's dependence on Irish recruits .... 546 

Disillusionment of Washington . . . . .548 

Evaciuition of Boston by Howe, March 1776 . . . . 549 

Washington driven from New York . .549 

Washington's escape, November 1776 ..... 560 

Constitutional weakness of Congress . .550 

Marshall on the failure of the co-operative system . .552 

Failure of the continental levies ...... 553 

Failure of requisitions on states. Paper money . . .564 
Dependence of Congress on French and Spanish subsidies 556 

New Jersey recovered by Washington, January 1777 566 

Brandy wine, September 11, 1777. Philadelphia occupied by 

Howe .......... 556 

Saratoga, October 16, 1777. The French Alliance. 657 

Valley Forge 567 

Jealousy of Washington ....... 559 

Howe superseded by Clinton, May 1778 660 

Yorktown, October 19, 1781 561 

Washington the essential condition of American success . .561 
American society as criticised by Washington and others . .562 
American objection to taxation . . • . .565 

Effect on army of political disorganization .... 566 

Washington's efforts to correct these evils .568 

Washington's forced requisitions ...... 669 

Resentment of the army against Congress .570 

Mutiny of Pennsylvanian contingent, January 1781 571 

Monarchical power refused by Washington, October 1781 671 

Failure of states to pay off the army 673 

Washington's fidelity to the principle of the commonwealth 573 

America's debt to Washington . . . .674 

Articles of Confederation ratified by States, February 1781 . 577 

Futility of the Confederation 677 

Refusal of States to concede customs to Congress . .579 

The national debt Default of Congress .... 580 

Scheme to ear-mark taxes . . . . . . .581 

Taxation of individuals by Congress advocated by Hamilton . 581 
Scheme adopted by Congress without Hamilton's amendment . 583 



Washington's address on resigning his office, June 1783 . . 584 
Bankruptcy of Congress, Fehruary 1786 . . .589 

Financial scheme defeated by New York . . .590 

Washington's comments on the situation .... 590 

Terms of peace ignored by the States ..... 592 
Growth of anarchy and Washington's comments thereon . 592 

Washington's lesson misunderstood by Freeman . .594 

Proceedings which led to the Philadelphia, Convention . . 596 
Influence as distinguished from Government by Washington 599 

Federal Constitution produced by Philadelphia Convention, 1787 601 
The Constitution contrasted with the Articles of Confederation 602 

Nature of sovereignty 603 

Nature of states ......... 604 

The basis of states not compact, but dedication . .605 
Expression of these principles in the Constitution . . 606 
Principle of representation realized therein . .607 
Federalism a further extension of the principle of the common- 
wealth 607 

Provision for incorporation of future colonies . .618 

Federalism ; its real character .615 

Fissiplirous tendency corrected in the American Constitution 617 

Constitution-making derided by Burke . . . .618 

Burke's argument examined . . . . . .619 

Bufke's error demonstrated by American experience 621 

Anglo-Scottish Union ignored by Burke 622 

Public opinion still dominated by Burke's attitude . .623 

Growth of one commonwealth distinguished from union of two 

or more commonwealths . .624 

Two conditions necessary to the union of commonwealths . 626 
Why in settling their relations the Dominions must be treated 

as separate commonwealths . .628 
Danger of attempting * incipient and creeping ' unions .630 
The ultimate sanction of the American Constitution . 633 
The conflict of freedom with slavery . .633 
The Missouri compromise and its effects ..... 684 
Election of Lincoln as president, 1860 . . .635 
Revival of the contractual theory by the Southern States . . 635 
Secession of South Carolina . . . .636 
Ldncoln's doctrine of individual dedication opposed to con- 
tractual theory 637 

Virginian view of the situation portrayed .638 

Why force was necessary for the maintenance of American 

liberty 641 

The choice presented to Vii^nians . . .642 



The attitude of Robert E. Lee 643 

Increase of public spirit in America 644 

This increase the result of the Union ..... 645 

Lincoln's Gettysburg speech ....... 646 

Note A. — Washington on the need of a permanent army . 648 
Note B. — Mohan on seor power as the determining factor in the 

War of Independence ...... 650 

Note C. — The Articles of Confederation 653 

Note D. — The Goristitution of the United States of America 660 


The Schism of the Commonwealth in its after Effects 

The union of the American colonies, not their secession, a step 

towards freedom ......... 678 

. 679 

. 679 

. 681 

. 681 

. 683 

. 685 

The real check to autocracy the British Commonwealth 

Recrudescence of autocracy in Germany . 

German union the achievement of monarchy . 

State control of public opinion in Germany . 

Reappearance of conflict between freedom and autocracy 

German and British ideals contrasted 

Freedom jeopardized by the schism of the Commonwealth . 687 

The British Commonwealth saved by the Industrial Revolution 689 

Inclusion of backward races in the Commonwealth . .689 

Americans divorced from responsibility for backward races 692 

The Monroe doctrine ........ 692 

British sea power and its eflfect on America .... 695 

AmericauB divorced from ultimate problem of politics 696 
American ideas limited to the national commonwealth .697 
The British Empire an international commonwealth .697 

The weakening effect of the schism ..... 698 

Results to freedom if the schism had been avoided . . 699 

The world's peace prejudiced by the schism .... 700 

The Imperial problem and what it is . .701 

Importance of extending responsibility for peace and war to 

the Dominions ........ 702 

Danger of ignoring these truths ...... 703 

Conclusion of the whole matter ...... 705 

Note A- — Recognition of the Commonwealth by backward races 

as necessary to their freedom .... 707 
Note B. — Message of President Monroe to Congress, December 2, 

182S 708 




I. Population of the World divided according to states . 1 

II. Map of the World on Mercator's Projection, to show the 
populations and actual areas occupied by the various 
states represented in Plate I. . , At end of volume 

III. The British Empire .At end of volume 

IV. Diagram to illustrate contrast between British and 

Chinese Empires . . , At end of volume 

y. Map to illustrate relations of Greece and Persia 27 

VI. Map to illustrate the Roman Empire and the Holy 

Roman Empire 56 

VII. Map to show relative areas of the English and Athenian 

Commonwealths . . . . .107 

VI 1 1. Diagram to illustrate responsibility for backward races 
as assumed by British Commonwealth and other 
European states . 157 

IX. The World divided into Land and Water Hemispheres . 1 79 

X. North America . , At end of volume 

XL Ireland 419 

XIL Growth of the Commonwealth (A) .647 

XII I. Growth of the Commonwealth (B) .... 706 


• • 

, • • • . 
. • • • • 
•• • • • 

• • • 

• • • 

• ••• 

• • • 

• • • • 

• ••• 

•• • 


|n the sheet opposite this page the population of 
le globe, represented iu graphic form, is divided 
ito the communities which are recognized by each 
^her as sovereign states. Upon opening this diagram 
reader is at once impressed by the fact that two 
^h states contain between them no less than half 
ikind. The Chinese Empire includes about one 
irter of the human race, and the British Empire 
lother quarter.^ 

Here, however, the resemblance ends, and the 

mtisl diflference in the character of the two Empires 

clearly shown by a glance at the map of the world as 

jsented in Plate 11.^ The people of China are one race 

ihabiting one country. They constitute, as it were, 

important wing of the social edifice. In the British 

tmpire, on the other hand, are comprised people of 

rery gradation in the human scale. The point is 

^ore clearly brought out by Plate III., which repre- 

its in some detail the various elements of which it 


In Plate IV. the squares shown on the first diagram 
redistributed so as to appear in the same relative 
dtious as they occupy in the map on Plate 11. , with 
result that the Chinese Empire still appears as a 
^lid wing of the human race, while the British Empire 
|U8t be compared rather to a framework wrought from 

See Note on page opposite. 

PUtae II., III., and IV. will be found at the end of the volume. 

1 B 





and the 




each one 

quarter of 


But the 
one is uni- 
form and 
the other 



of the 









as vanous 
in its com 
position as 

all its materials and ramifying through every part of 
its compli3jited stj^uHnJA/ The disruption of China 
would geripu^y .affect ^e. ifest of the world ; but the 
collap^\o4**tK'6'Bl'i'tnsh**Enip1re would be followed by 
results incalculably greater, and it is no exaggeration 
to say that it would convulse the whole fabric of human 
society. If the dismemberment of Turkey be thought 
to endanger the peace of the world, what consequences 
are to be looked for if an Empire, so much more orderly 
as it is more vast and widely spread, were suddenly to 
be broken up ? 
BriUsh ^^^ ^^^ special feature of this great international 

Empire state, upon which it is desired to dwell for the moment, 
is the variety of the elements which it connects. Man- 
kind may be compared to a stratified formation con- 
raankind sistiug of a scrics of graduated layers. The Chinese 
Empire is a state cut from the thickest of these layers. 
The British Empire is a section of humanity cut from 
top to bottom, and a sample of every typical layer is 
contained in its jurisdiction. As the map before us 
shows, it includes the native inhabitants of every con- 
tinent. In the light of modern discoveries it can be 
stated without hesitation that the earth has contained 
intelligent human beings for not less than 500,000 
years. It is only in the brief centuries at the close of 
this 8Bon that means have been devised of establishing 
regular intercourse between the continents. For 
ages longer than the human imagination can picture 
the inhabitants of the different continents have lived 
in water-tight compartments, developing apart and in- 
fluencing each other little or not at all in the process. 
In the main, therefore, the different stages of human 
development coincided, and to some extent still co- 
incide, with continents or groups of continents. The 
tribal system is typical of the aborigines of Africa, 
Oceana, and America. The ancient monarchies of 
Mexico and Peru represent a sporadic advance beyond 


that system, which owinff to their extinction failed intro- 

• • • DUCTION 

to aflPect the course of history. Another exception is 
Egypt, whose ancient civilization, isolated by desert 
frontiei© in the west, has a nearer affinity to the social 
system of Asia than to that of Africa. Apart from 
these exceptions the organization of the state had not 
been realized in the three more backward continents 
whose inhabitants had failed to advance beyond the 
tribal stage of society. The British Empire is com- 
posed of people in both these stages of development, 
and also of Europeans whose ideas have produced a 
type of state essentially different from that evolved 
by Asia. It is necessary to consider, therefore, what 
the tribal system means, how it differs from the state, 
and how the Asiatic conception of the state differs 
from that peculiar to Europe. For the effect which 
these types of society have had on each other when 
brought into contact is one of the principal causes 
which have led to the creation of the Empire. 

The bond which unites the tribe or clan is that of Tribal and 
the family on an extended scale, the chief exercising or^n?za- 
a parental authority in virtue of his inherited position tjn^ished. 
as head of the house. * It needs no argument,' as 
Lecky remarks, * to show how incompatible with all 
national unity'^ is this primitive principle of organiza- 
tion, and the races which have not advanced beyond 
it are correctly described as ' uncivilized.' Asia, on 
the other hand, is regarded as the home of civilization, 
and * the state,' in its primitive form 6f theocracy, has 
been its characteristic type of political organization. 
The great Semitic and Mongolian races have perhaps 
no closer affinity to each other in descent than to the 
natives of America or Africa. But in the course of 
their development the peoples of Asia have so in- 
fluenced each other as to produce certain characteristics 
common to Asiatic society. In spite of all that has 

* Lecky, History of England in the Bigkteenih Century, vol. ii, p. 267. 


ixTBO- been said and written to the contrary, the popular habit 

^^^^^^^^^^ of applying the term ' Oriental ' to all the races who 

live between the Pacific and the Levant is justified 

by the facts. It bears witness to the existence of 

some common feature which differentiates them from 

the natives of Africa, Oceana, and America on the one 

hand, and from the natives of Europe on the other. 

Deveioi>- The Biblical writings, which render the ordinary 

Asia of the reader more familiar with the social conditions of the 

pHmitWc* ^^^ than he is apt to realize, reveal one of its races 

form of emerging from the tribal condition and reorganizing 

theocracy. , .Jr . ^ • i i • 

itself on the principle of a typical theocratic state. 
The children of Israel are represented in the Book of 
Judges as conscious of a certain unity by reason of 
their common descent from Abraham, Isaac, and 
Jacob. But already they have grown too numerous 
to render obedience to any one descendant or repre- 
sentative of the common patriarchs. They are split 
into twelve tribes named after the sons of Israel, and 
already one of these tribes, that of Joseph, has sub- 
divided into two others named after his sons Ephraim 
and Manasseh. These tribes, having no government 
in common, are given to internecine feuds with each 
other, and are likewise exposed to periodic conquest 
and oppression by peoples like the Philistines or 
Amalekites, who have already succeeded in organizing 
themselves as states. From time to time they are 
delivered by some hero whose individual genius or 
prowess enables him temporarily to command the 
obedience of several tribes. Gradually they are driven 
by internal disorder and external pressure to realize 
a national organization, and to establish it on a 
permanent footing by recognizing Saul the Benjamite 
as King over all Israel. By the author of the Book 
of Samuel the creation of the Hebrew^ monarchy is 
represented as a concession to popular clamour. But 
that concession having been made, the kingship is 


founded from first to last on divine authority. * Is intro- 


it not because the Lord hath anointed thee to be 
Captain over his inheritance ? ' cries the seer, as he 
pours the consecrated oil on Saul's head. The whole 
duty of the Hebrew is comprehended in his unbounded 
obligation to obey the God of Israel. It is only as 
his vicegerent that the kings are entitled to their 
obedience, and it is their duty to God which unites 
them as a people and enables them to rise above their 
tribal organization and to constitute themselves as 
a state, 

A religious consciousness so strong as sometimes Orientals 
to overwhelm him is indeed the distinctive mark of obedience 
the Oriental. He stands like one who, gazing into the Jj^f^^nd 
sun, becomes almost blind to the world about him, law by 
and to the ground beneath his feet. His sense of feeling. 
his relation to the spiritual world is so vivid as to 
obscure the reality of mundane things in which the 
typical European is often preoccupied overmuch. He 
is so absorbed in the thought of his duty to God that 
he partly forgets, to identify it with his duty to his 
fellow-men other than those united to him by caste, 
family or similar ties.^ Throughout the East the force 
which united peoples in obedience to their govem- 
,ment has been mainly religious. And this is true of 
races so distant and different from the Semitic people 
as the Chinese and Japanese. In China, as a well- 
informed writer in The Times has remarked, * the 
permanency of birth privileges is allowed to the 
Royal Family, not because it fulfils the functions of 
an autocracy, but because it embodies the concep- 
tion of the nation as one family with a permanent 
relation to the will of Heaven, which so ordained 
the social nature of man.' ^ In Japan the Mikado 
is revered by the majority as a visible deity. The 

* Meredith Townshend, Asia aiul Europe, pp. 14*15. 

* " Confacianism and the Republic in China," The Times, Sept. 24, 191L>. 



claim to 
the dis- 
of the 

devotion with which he is served is unbounded, but 
it is not to be entirely identified, as it often is, 
with patriotism as understood by Western peoples. 
Throughout the East obedience has been rendered to 
authority primarily as a religious duty. Rulers )vhen 
not revered as actually divine have been regarded 
as vicegerents of Grod appointed to enunciate His 
mandates and to enforce them. * Rebellion is as the' 
sin of witchcraft' — the deliberate service of God's 
enemy the devil. To unfaithful kings God ceases to 
reveal His commands. This silence is the first punish- 
ment inflicted on Saul for disobedience. Driven to 
despair for want of guidance in his difiiculties, he 
invokes the aid of a witch, and cries to the ghost of 
Samuel summoned by incantations from his grave : 
* God is departed from me and answereth me no 
more, neither by prophets nor by dreams : therefore 
I have called thee that thou mayest make known 
unto me what I shall do.' ^ 

Briefly we may say that the theocratic state is 
the distinctive product of the peoples of Asia, and 
represents an important advance on the merely tribal 
organization of primitive man. The state differs 
from any other form of human organization in that 
the authority which it claims over the conduct of its 
members is unlimited. It assumes the right to 
deprive them in the public interest of their property, 
of their liberty, and of their lives, and it is only 
while that claim is admitted to a sufficient extent 
by a sufiicient number of its members that the state 
can exist. For, to put the matter in a nutshell, 
government can only continue so long as it can 
depend upon the willingness of a sufficient number 
of its subjects to sacrifice their lives to the enforce- 
ment of its commands. The tribe is an embryonic 
state limited by the fact that its essential bond of 

^ 1 SamuM xxviii. 15. 


blood relation arrests its development at the point intro- 
beyond which its members cease to be sensible of 
their kinship. The overpowering sense of religion 
developed in Asia made it possible to unite any 
number of tribes in obedience to a ruler accepted as 
the appointed instrument and mouthpiece of the 
divine authority and recognized as entitled to the 
absolute obedience of each and all. Such unions were 
usually effected by the sword of a conqueror. But 
the conqueror's power was regarded as the manifest 
token of divine authority behind him. The sword 
might collect the elements of a state, but until some 
sense of a duty to obey was developed they could 
not cohere. The belief that physical power was the 
evidence of divine authority has enabled the people 
of Asia to emerge from the tribal stage and constitute 
states on the primitive basis of theocracy. 

To the Oriental mind the wisdom of rulers was, as Theocratic 
in the case of King Solomon, less the product of ex- ten^to 
perience than a gift from on high. The idea of theTom^' 
the people themselves through their representatives ofstate 
attaining to a right judgment in matters of state in Asia. 
the light of their own experience was foreign to Eastern 
thought. Nowadays the theocratic tradition may some- 
times be seen at work behind the thin veil of a Western 
constitution. On several occasions the Japanese 
Government has silenced parliamentary opposition 
by declaring that it disturbed the Emperor's ancestors, 
and when this expedient failed the parliament has 
been overruled by an Imperial rescript which the 
people regarded as much more binding upon them 
than the acts of their own representatives. It is easy 
to see how theocratic ideas tend to the government 
of one man. Autocracy has therefore been the form 
of government natural to Asia. 

On the other hand, it is necessary to avoid the 
fallacy of supposing that an autocracy, as con- 


INTRO- trasted with a commonwealth, is based upon force. 
^^^^^^.^^^^^^ To argue that the government of one man over 
states, millions can rest upon force is an absurdity from the 
Tiito.^^* outset. Force is the sword of government, but what 
craciesor ^erves the hand that wields the sword is not and 

corniDon- , , , 

wealths, cauuot in the last analysis be force. And this is just 

reaum ^ BS truc of a dcspotism as of a republic. The quicken- 

on w'lf^**' ing principle of a state is a sense of devotion, an 

interest or adequate recognition somewhere in the minds of its 

force. ^ o , IT 

subjects that their own interests are subordmate to 
those of the state. The bond which unites them 
arid constitutes them collectively as a state is, to use 
the words of Lincoln, in the nature of dedication. 
Its validity, like that of the marriage tie, is at root 
not contractual but sacramental. Its foundation is 
not self-interest, but rather some sense of obligation, 
however conceived, which is strong enough to over- 
master self-interest. Amongst the peoples of Asia 
the necessary motive was, and still is, supplied by 
their overpowering sense of man's duty to God. 
Why the It is a commouplacc that states had developed 

West has ^^^ civilizatious were flourishing in Asia at a period 
amenable ^hen Europc was Still plunged in a barbarism as 

to change ^ .,. . , 

while the primitive as that prevailing in the other contments. 

resisted it European history comes well within the limit of the 
last three thousand years ; but if the social conditions 
of Asia at the beginning and end of that period were 
to be described, the difference in the two descriptions 
would not be great, and that difference would be 
largely due to the effect of Europe on Asia. A 
similar comparison in the case of E\irope would show 
an immeasurable change in social conditions between 
then and now. The Balkan Peninsula, where this 
change would be least remarkable, is the one portion 
of Europe which has fallen under the influence of an 
Oriental race. That Asia lias remained almost 
stationary while Europe has been changing beyond 


recoffnitioD is one of the great facts of the world, the intro- 


significance of which we cannot evade and must 
endeavour bo understand. It is a fact which, indeed, 
is not unrelated to the political conceptions of the 
East which we have just been discussing. Custom 
and law are the framework of society, and, in so far as 
they are held to be divine, the idea of changing them 
is regarded as impious. The Medes and Persians were 
typical Orientals in their idea that the law cannot be 
altered even in response to the experience which 
people subject to the laws have gained. In India the 
difficulty of altering the sacred law constantly 
impedes the reforming zeal of the government. * In 
Turkey, the Sultan, though Sovereign, is subject to 
the Sheriat or Sacred Law, which he cannot alter ; 
and which no power exists capable of altering. A 
good deal may be done in the way of interpretation ; 
and the desired Fetwa or solemnly rendered opinion 
of the Chief Mufti or Sheik-ul-Islam can generally 
be obtained by adequate extra-legal pressure on the 
Sultan's part. But no Sultan would venture to ex- 
tort, and probably no Mufti to render, a Fetwa in the 
teeth of some sentence of the Koran itself, which, with 
the Traditions, is the ultimate source of the Sacred 
Law, binding all Muslims always and everywhere/^ 
The natural fatalism of the Oriental is thus fostered 
by the notions underlying theocracy. Whatever form 
his religion takes he tends to regard himself and his 
kind as puppets of forces which are entirely beyond 
human control. Believing himself to be the slave of 
destiny he does in fact become so. The consequence 
is that any society inclines to be static so far as it 
rests on ideas which are narrowly religious rather 
than moral. 

The outlook of modern Europe diflfers from that 
of the East especially in the greater emphasis which 

* Bryce, Studies in History awl Jurispru^denee, vol. ii. pp. 58-r)9. 


INTRO- it lays on the duty of men to themselves and to 


^^^^.,,^,.^^^ each other. This divergence has doubtless been 
Euioi)e fostered by a religion which sprang from Asia itself, 
enUated J^t fouud its cougenial soil not there but in Europe, 
twn o"*"^^ and it may almost be said that the difference 
free-will between the Mosaic law and the Sermon on the Mount 
uieii'sduty mcasurcs the difference between Eastern and Western 
^ "*^"' ideals. Men cannot feel, and go on feeling, a sense 
of responsibility for the society in which they live, 
unless they are also conscious of some power to 
alter its condition and their own for better or worse. 
Some deeply rooted belief in the efficacy of free will 
has delivered Europe from what Bryce calls *the 
isolation and narrowness and general exclusiveuess 
which has checked the growth of the earlier civiliza- 
tions of the world, and which we now see lying like 
a weight upon the kingdoms of the East.' ^ 

There is perhaps in literature no phrase which 
conveys more perfectly the distinctive Western 
outlook on life than that put by Shakespeare into 
the mouth of Cassius : — 

Men at some time are masters of their fates : 
The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars 
But in ourselves, that we are underlings. 

This confidence of the European in his own power 
to control circumstance has encouraged exercise 
of the power and led to its development. The 
Oriental regarding the framework of society as 
divinely ordained has treated man as though he 
were made for the law : the European has treated 
the law as though it were made for man, as a 
framework which must not be allowed to cramp social 
methods and habits, but which must, when necessary, 
be modified to suit, and indeed to foster, change. 
The idea that the law is human and subject to 

* Bryce, Holy Roman Empire, p. 433. 


aJfrejr^tion has necessarily led to a conception that intro- 

. duction 

the <^lianges naust be eifected iu accordance with the ^^^^^^^,^^. 

exf>^xrience of the people it affects, determined so Theprin- 

&r c^s possible by themselves, and ultimately in comm^^on-* 

accojrciance with their will. But the essence of a ^^*„*^\^^® 

lav- is that it is a rule controlling the conduct of a product 

nucici^X>er of people, and it obviously cannot be modi- attitnde 

fiei -fco suit the interest, or in response to the will, of ^^ °"°*^* 

eaalx eeparate individual. The European conception 

of sc:)vemment, therefore, assumes the possibility 

of ^ public opinion which is as much entitled to 

pr^^j^^il over individual wills as the edict of an 

Autooxat to command the unhesitating obedience 

^f Ixis subjects. But, to command obedience, public 

^P^^ion must be capable of formulation in terms as 

Vy^cise as those of an edict. The further assump- 

^^^ti is therefore involved that a certain number of 

^^Uzens are capable of formulating public opinion 

^ the light of experience. To do this they must 

tave some intellectual capacity for judging the 

public interest, and, what is no less important, some 

moral capacity for treating it as paramount to their 

owD. It follows that all citizens who have the 

necesdary qualifications ought, in the interests of 

the whole community, to be admitted to a share 

in the work of formulating public opinion. The 

principle is one which travels in the direction of 

democracy as naturally as the theocratic principle 

travels towards despotism. 

This briefly is the principle of the commonwealth. Freedom 
and its fundamental notion is that society is at its pHncipk 
best when able and free to adapt its own structure °^ *^® 

-t ^ common - 

to conditions as they change, in accordance with wealth are 
its own experience of those conditions. Freedom ideas, 
is the power of society to control circumstance, and 
that is why freedom and the institution of the 
commonwealth are linked inseparably, and together 


INTRO- constitute the distinctive ideal of Western civilization. 

^^^^^^^^^ Blazing forth in the morning of history with a 

startling but transitory brilliance, the principle of the 

commonwealth has with many vicissitudes gradually 

prevailed over that of theocracy in Europe, and 

already shows promise of extending the contest to 

Asia itself. This struggle of principles, each nobler 

than that which it superseded, is in truth the ultimate 

theme of history. 

Europe by The recognition of Europe as a continent separate 
^njiging £^^^ ^^j^ ^ ^^^ ^^^ ^^ ^^^ ^^^ ^^^^ ^j^^^ ^^^ nearly 

continents ^^ altogether divided by sea, as are Africa, America 
into touch and Australia from both of them. Eurasia is one 

raised the . iiii. n tt«i' •• 

problem of great Continent, and the habit of subdividing it into 
inVt^eir *wo is duc to consciousncss of something which 
relations diflfcrentiates the society at its western area from 
that east of the Ural Mountains, The consciousness 
of this difference is comparatively speaking a recent 
one. For the last few thousand years the people of 
Europe have displayed a continuous energy coupled 
with a peculiar capacity for collecting experience and 
bringing it to bear upon the conditions of human life. 
Climate and the conformation of the shores surround- 
ing the Mediterranean were amongst the causes which 
fostered the development of these faculties. For our 
purpose, however, it is sufficient to note that when 
history opens we find in Greece a people whose ideas 
and habits have begun to differ from those of Asia, 
and have brought into being institutions for which 
no counterpart can be found in the East. The Greeks 
developed the faculty of change, and the Romans 
created conditions which have enabled it to spread in 
a greater or less degree to the races west of the 
Ural Mountains. The history of Europe deals with 
the series of struggles in which this peculiar faculty 
asserted itself and produced the civilization which 
has distinguished the people of Europe from those of 


Asia. But history is something more than the history intro- 
' . duction 

of Europe, and no view of politics can be final which ,,^^^.^^,.,^^ 

does not include the whole of mankind. The human 
race is spread over five continents, each of which has 
its own history and level of development ; and how 
to adjust their relations to each other is the ultimate 
problem of politics. The problem arises from the 
fact that one has become versatile while the rest 
have remained comparatively static. While the 
faculty of progress was still fighting for existence in 
Europe, Europe itself was continually called upon 
to fight for existence against some power which 
threatened it firom Asia. Numbers were on 
the side of Asia, but the increasing control which 
Europe achieved over moral as well as over physical 
forces in the end secured her against destruction. 
But the same increasing control over nature began to 
open a new and wider range of problems. By the 
close of the Middle Ages practical improvements in 
navigation had converted the oceans from barriers 
into highways, and in the next few centuries Europe, 
which had touched Asia on one side only, began to 
invade the monarchies of the further East and the 
primitive communes of Africa, America, Australasia, 
and the Pacific Isles. Nay more, she brought them 
into touch with each other, and in a few centuries the 
primeval seclusion of the most ancient societies was 
broken up. Partitions which had ever divided the 
families of mankind were rapidly breached, and it 
needs no argument to prove that the fundamental 
problem of the age arises from the necessity of adjust- 
ing the relations of the one to the other. 

Frankly, we must realize that the first effect of pisturb- 
European civilization on the older societies is dis- of^con^wt 
ruptive. In the course of this inquiry we shall see thl^cea 
how the ancient despotisms of the East corrode when of the 


they come into contact with Western commerce and 


INTRO, finance, and how civilized conceptions of law dislocate 

■>°™<»' the eoma.un.1 systeo,. n.t,™l to primitive m.-. 

The older societies, hard and dry with age, burst when 

the still-fermenting wine of European civilization is 

suddenly poured into them. The contents, moreover, 

of the old bottles are poured into each other and 

mixed together. The races of Africa are transplanted 

wholesale to the Americas. In Africa, and on the 

shores and islands washed by the Pacific, the peoples 

of Asia begin to establish colonies of their own, and 

on new ground the old struggle for existence between 

the civilizations of Europe and Asia begins again. 

The The magnitude and delicacy of the problems raised 

Empire ^7 chaugcs which rapidly brought into touch with 

**^® , , each other the isolated races of mankind is evident, 


of these and we have only to look at the composition of the 
pro ems. gj,jj.jgjj^ Empire to see that its structure is a practical 

attempt to supply a solution of some of them. It 
consists of separate territories which together cover 
more than one-fifth of the land surface of the planet, 
and contain about a quarter of its population. These 
are distributed amongst some fifty subordinate states 
in which are represented all the races and gradations 
of human society, and all these it correlates within 
the jurisdiction of one paramount state. 
The But are we justified in describing the British 

British Empire as a state ? To answer that question we 

Empii-e IS *^ ^ 

recognized must ask ourselvcs what the attributes of a state are. 
state^by ^ Human life is mainly concerned with adjusting the 
sidTit?"* relations of men, or communities of men, to each other. 
When the interests or ideals of two individuals or 
communities conflict beyond the hope of agreement, 
they may be settled either by the strength of the 
stronger, that is to say by violence or the threat of 
violence, or else by the authority of law. The state 
is an institution designed to adjust the relations of its 
component members or communities without violence. 


or at least by the use of only so much as may be intro- 


necessary to enforce the authority of law. The 
British Empire determines by the peaceful methods 
of law the relations of a large number of races and 
communities, and in this sense it is a state. It does 
in practice secure that none of its component states 
shall engage in war with any other, whether inside or 
outside the limits of its jurisdiction. No foreign 
state can make war on any of them without being at 
war with all of them together. Any attempt, for 
instance, on the part of China to invade Fiji would 
involve the arrest of Chinese ships which happened at 
the moment when war was declared to be lying in the 
ports of Canada or South Africa. This empire, in- 
cluding a quarter of the human race, is in fact a state 
from the international point of view. 

The obedience which these various communities it is also 
representing the successive stages of human progress ?^tl^ ^n 
severally yield to the Imperial sovereignty is con- ^i*®^"/{'|je 
ceived in a manner natural to the social ideas of common- 
each of them. To the tribes of America, Africa, and though 
the Pacific Islands, with their patriarchal ideas, it ^ajSty^ 
was natural to speak of Queen Victoria as 'The ^f}^ 

, citizens 

Great White Mother.' By the people of India the cannot as 
monarchy is thought of 'as a divine institution, a Jund^imt 
sacred office, not to be assailed or criticized without l^^^^^^ 
a tinge of impiety.' ^ And yet the supreme govern- f^j- them- 
ment of the state is based upon principles typical of 
Europe in direct antithesis to those understood by the 
races from which seven-eighths of its subjects are 
drawn. The British monarch is, in fact, neither 
patriarch nor autocrat, but the hereditary president 
of a commonwealth. But in this commonwealth the 
governing power is practically restricted to citizens 
of European origin. It is not extended, even for 
local purposes, to any of the Dependencies great or 

* "Th? Purbar and After," Round Table, No. VII. vol. u. p. 397. 


INTRO- small, for the sufficient reason that the institutions 
of a commonwealth cannot be successfully worked by 
peoples whose ideas are still those of a theocratic or 
patriarchal society. The premature extension of 
representative institutions throughout the Empire 
would be the shortest road to anarchy. But this 
present restriction of the franchise to the people 
of European origin no more deprives the Imperial 
state of its essential character of a commonwealth 
than the analogous restriction of the franchise to 
adults. In order to alter the system of government 
familiar to the East the ideas and customs out of 
which that system has grown must be altered first, 
and it is safe to assume that the masses of India 
will not have so changed their habits of life as to 
enable them within the period of the present genera- 
tion to assume a complete responsibility for the 
management of their own domestic affairs. But this 
obviously they must do before attempting to assume 
the still higher and more difficult responsibility 
for the affairs of the Empire as a whole. It 
is not therefore within the scope of an inquiry, 
exclusively practical in its object, to consider how or 
when the Dependencies are to be associated in the 
government of the Imperial Commonwealth.^ 
But when The exclusion of an increasing portion of the 
YrTrn^ European citizens of the Empire from a share in 
British *^^ its stupcndous responsibilities is the importunate 
Empire questiou whosc settlement must precede all others. 

los&s tho 

character One quarter of them are distributed between the 
and fans' Dominious of Canada, Australia, South Africa, New 
to realize Zealand, and Newfoundland. Within the limits of 

the pnu- ' . II- 

cipioofa those territories their several populations control 

common- . i • • . i /y» • t  j.i_ i 

wealth. then: own internal anairs. in the general govern- 

^ Since visiting India I have seen reasons to modify tlie view expressed 
in this sentence, which was written in 1912. I hope to give those reasons 
in the next volume.— Editor, Delhi, March 1917. . 


ment of the Empire, however, they exercise no voice intbo* 


whatever, and, contrariwise, the Imperial Government 
has no power in fact of commanding their resources 
for the maintenance of the Imperial Commonwealth. 
Viewed from without, the British Empire is a single 
state with a single government, in practice just as 
competent to commit all its subjects to peace or war 
as the Governments of Russia, Germany, or the 
United States. But it cannot, like them, command 
the resources of all its subjects and territories in the 
discharge of its responsibilities. As the people of the 
Dominions have no voice in the government of the 
Empire, so are they not subject to contribute to its 
necessities. Viewed from within, the Empire lacks 
that property of states by which they proportion the 
expenditure of their resources to the responsibilities 
which the possession of those resources involves. It 
is a commonwealth which excludes from a share in 
its government an increasing proportion of citizens in 
no way less qualified for the task than those whom 
it admits to it. It is a state, yet not a state; a 
commonwealth, yet one which fails to realize an 
essential condition of the principle which inspires it. 
Can it continue in this condition, and if not, is it to 
develop the structure of a state and to fulfil the 
conditions of a commonwealth, or is it to be broken 
up into a number of states? And if so broken 
up, can the parent state continue single-handed to 
maintain a stable equilibrium between these multi- 
tudinous races and civilizations, and to adjust their 
relations with the other three-quarters of the human 
race? No question more momentous has ever been 
proposed, for upon its solution depends the stability, 
not merely of this Empire itself, but of the whole 
structure of the world's society through which it 
extends. To attempt an answer to this question 
without first inquiring what the British Empire is 



INTRO- and what function it fulfils is to court failure from 
DUCTION ^^^ outset. For as with every institution, it is only 
to be understood in the light of history and especially 
of events which caused and therefore preceded its 
creation. It will be necessary, then, to take a rapid 
glance at the history of Europe, more especially in its 
relations to Asia, before the British Empire itself 
appeared upon the scene. 
Plan of the The first part of this inquiry traces the growth of 
dMcriid. *^^ Commonwealth to the great schism which so nearly 
destroyed it at the close of the eighteenth century. 
The second, dealing with the subsequent growth of 
the British Empire, is an attempt to see India, Egypt, 
Canada, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa 
as they now are. In these two parts an endeavour 
is made to understand the various parts of the 
Empire, and how they are related to each other 
and the whole. Whether those relations are satis- 
factory, and how far they now require to be changed, 
are questions to be discussed in the third and final 
part of the inquiry. 



A TRIBAL society is highly unstable, because each chap. 
tribe tends to split up as soon as it outgrows the 

limits of a magnified family. Where, however, the The tueo- 

chief sanction of government is religion, the community principle 

can continue to expand so long as the territories it tends to 

* o the crea- 

covers are not too wide for the ruler's commands to tion of 
be conveyed to his subjects. Asia thus became the a great 
home of enormous states; it was a continent in ^^^^' 
which vast multitudes were ruled by a few despots. 

European history begins with the Greeks, and the The 
opening pages of their literature tell of a people who tio^ o"*^'^" 
differ not in defin*ee but in kind from those of Asia Europe 
because they are no longer dominated by habit. The first took 
frontispiece of that literature is a portrait of Odysseus, amongst 
of a man living by his wits, a man to whom the ^j^Jf^the 
things of this world matter, and are in some sort new type 

of state 

amenable to control The typical Greek hero is no they 
slave of destiny, but one who masters it by the ®^®°p®^- 
resources of an unconquerable mind. But the Asiatic 
idea that authority must rest on a supernatural basis 
survives amongst the Homeric Greeks, for their kings 
are always in some way descended from the gods. 
So strong is the religious idea indeed that they can 
think of themselves as united in the siege of Troy, as 
m later times they were never united, by common 
loyalty to a paramount king. 

At a later period, when legend gives way to history, 



CHAP, these theocratic ideas have abeady receded into the 
.^^^,^^^^,^/ background, and the Greeks have moved on to 
political conceptions of their own for which no 
precedent was to be found in Asia. These were the 
product of the small communities centreing round 
fortified cities, into which the Greeks were divided 
by their mountains and seas. In these small 
neighbourhoods was developed an esprit de corps 
that bound society by ties dififerent from the feeling 
that to question the authority of * powers and 
principalities ' is impious. The Greek was religious, 
but the dominating factor in his political life was 
not religion but enthusiasm for his city, which to 
his eye was made, not of waUs, but of his fellow 
citizens. And to the welfare of that city so con- 
ceived he was prepared to dedicate not merely his 
property and his energy but life itself. It was in 
Athens that the Greek spirit reached its typical de- 
velopment ; and as one of their enemies said of the 
Athenians, *They spend their bodies, as mere ex- 
ternal tools, in the city's service, and count their 
minds as most truly their own when employed on 
her behalf.'^ 
The Greek The specch delivered by their greatest statesman, 
o^the Pericles, at the funeral of some of them who had 
dedication j^^^ foy ^j^^j^ ^\^y jg instiuct with this Spirit of 

of men to ^ ^ -^ , -^ 

each other, dedication. * Such were the men who lie here and 
such the city which inspired them. We survivors 
may pray to be spared their bitter hour, but must 
disdain to meet the foe with a spirit less triumphant. 
Let us draw strength, not merely from twice-told 
arguments — how fair and noble a thing it is to show 
courage in battle — but from the busy spectacle of 
our great city's life as we have it before us day by 
day, falling in love with her as we see her, and 
remembering that all this greatness she owes to 

> Thucydides i. 70. 


men with the fighter's daring, the wise man's under- chap. 
standing of his duty, and the good man's self-disci- . ^^ _^^ 
pline in its performance — to men who, if they failed 
in any ordeal, disdained to deprive the city of their 
services, but sacrificed their lives as the best offerings 
on her behalf. So they gave their bodies to the 
commonwealth and received, each for his own memory, 
praise that will never die, and with it the grandest 
of all sepulchres, not that in which their mortal 
bones are laid, but a home in the minds of men, 
where their glory remains fresh to stir to speech or 
action as the occasion comes by. For the whole 
earth is the sepulchre of famous men ; and their 
story is not graven only on stone over their native 
earth, but lives on far away, without visible symbol, 
woven into the stuff of other men's lives.' * 

Here is a spirit of devotion no less absolute than civic duty 
that which inspired the obedience rendered by an "i^S by 
Asiatic to a monarch whom he thought of as the »Greek. 
delegate of Grod. But in Athens that obedience was 
rendered by the citizen to the -will not of a despot 
but of his fellow citizens. How absolute was a 
Greek's conception of the obedience due from himself 
to the state may be gathered from the reasons given 
by the greatest of Athenian citizens for declining to 
evade an unjust sentence of death. ' Consider it in 
this way : Suppose the laws and the Commonwealth 
were to come and appear to me as I was preparing 
to run away, perhaps they would say, ^' Socrates, 
wonder not at our words, but answer us ; you your- 
self are accustomed to ask questions and to answer 
them. What complaint have you against us and 
the city, that you are trying to destroy us? Are 
we not, first, your parents ? Through us your father 
took your mother and begat you. Tell us, have you 

^ Thuoydides ii. 43, translation from Zimmern, The Greek Common' 
weaUk, p. 202. 


CHAP, any fault to find with those of us that are the laws 
of marriage ? " '* I have none," I should reply. " Or 
have you any fault to find with those of us that 
regulate the nurture and education of the child, 
which you, like others, received? Did not we do 
well in bidding your father educate you in music 
and gymnastic ? " " You did," I should say. " Well 
then since you were brought into the world and 
nurtured and educated by us, how, in the first place, 
can you deny that you are our child and our slave, 
as your fathers were before you ? And if this be so, 
do you think that your rights are on a level with 
ours ? Do you thiuk that you have a right to retaliate 
upon us if we should try to do anything to you ? 
You had not the same rights that your father had, 
or that your master would have had, if you had been 
a slave. You had no right to retaliate upon them if 
they ill-treated you, or to answer them if they reviled 
you, or to strike them back if they struck you, or 
to repay them evil with evil in any way. And do 
you think that you may retaliate on your country 
and its laws ? If we try to destroy you, because we 
think it right, will you 'in return do all that you 
can to destroy us, the laws, and your country, and 
say that in so doing you are doing right, you, the 
man, who in truth thinks so much of virtue? Or 
are you too wise to see that your country is worthier, 
and more august, and more sacred, and holier, and 
held in higher honour both by the Gods and by 
all men of understanding, than your father and 
your mother and all your other ancestors ; and 
that it is your bounden duty to reverence it, and 
ta submit to it, and to approach it more humbly 
than you would approach your father, when it is 
angry with you ; and either do whatever it bids you 
to do or to persuade it to excuse you ; and to obey 
in silence if it orders you to endure stripes or 



imprisonment, or if it sends you to battle to be 
wounded or to die? That is what is your duty. 
You must not give way, nor retreat, nor desert 
your post. In war, and in the court of justice, 
and everywhere, you must do whatever your city 
and your country bids you do, or you must 
convince them that their commands are unjust. 
But it is against the law of God to use violence 
to your father or to your mother; and much more 
so is it against the law of God. to use violence to 
your country. " What answer shall we make Crito ? 
Shall we say that the laws speak truly or no ? ' ^ 
Here is presented the duty of the citizen as conceived 
by the greatest interpreter of Greek ideas. For him 
the authority of government still rests on Man's duty 
to God But Man's duty to God is inseparably 
connected with his duty to his fellow men. To them 
he is bound by an obligation to which he can recognize 
no limits, an obligation which requires him to sacrifice 
everything — ^property, and, if necessary, life itself — 
in the interests of the commonwealth. It is in the 
general good of the community that his own particular 
good is to be sought. His relation to society is that 
of a limb to the body ; for the health of a limb must 
not be sought for itself, but only as a product of the 
health of the body as a whole. To neglect the public 
interest in the pursuit of his own is to grasp at a 
shadow and to ignore the substance. It is the prin- 
ciple exactly expressed in the divine paradox, * Who- 
soever shall seek to save his own life shall lose it ; and 
whosoever shall lose his life shall preserve it.' ^ 

We now begin to see what a Greek commonwealth 
was and where it differs from an Asiatic theocracy. 
It is a body of men animated by a sense of mutual 
enthusiasm — of duty to each other — so strong as to 

^ OritOt 60, translation from Ohuroh, Trial and Death qfSocreUes, pp. 98-90. 
* St Lnke zvii. 33. 



CHAP, enable them to subordinate their own interests to that 
^^^^.^^^^^^ of their fellow-citizens, and to render an absolute 
The rule obedieuce to public opinion expressed, for the purpose 
oipabie of ^^ 8^^^ obcdiencc, in the laws. The rule of law as 
raoufded Contrasted with the rule of an individual is the distin- 
in accord- guishiug mark of the commonwealth. In despotisms 
experience govemmeut Tcsts on the authority of the ruler or of 
guishing" t^e invisible and uncontrollable power behind him. 
th"^ ^^ ^^ ^ commonwealth rulers derive their authority from 
common- the law, and the law from a public opinion which 
is competent to change it In the Greek common- 
wealth public opinion found expression in the resolu- 
tions passed by the citizens themselves meeting in 
the market-place, round which the community had 
grown up. It was they and they alone who were 
competent to modify the law in accordance with the 
experience they had gained or their needs as they 
judged them from day to day. Here is a form of 
society essentially capable of adapting its framework 
to changing conditions. It is a progressive society, 
one in which men can adapt themselves to conditions 
as they find them, and so dominate circumstance 
instead of being controlled by it. 
Effect of This newprinciple was one which profoundly affected 

common-^ the structuTC of Greek And, indeed, that of European 
wcAithon society, and differentiated it from that of Asia. 

European •'' 

history. Eastern prophets had apprehended that man s duty 
towards God implied men's duty towards each other. 
But the Greeks had used the principle as the basis of 
practical government. They had made the common 
things of this material world amenable to its rule. 
They had brought it from the realm of abstractions, 
and had made it incarnate in the facts of their life. 
'As the literature of Greece is the groundwork of all 
later literature, as the art of Greece is the groundwork 
of all later art, so in the great Democracy of Athens 
we recognize the parent state of law and justice and 



freedom,the wonder and the example of every later age. 

. . . Never could we have been as we are, if those 

ancient commonwealths had not gone before us. 

While human nature remains what it has been for two 

thousand years, so long will the eternal lessons of the 

great '* Possession for all Time/' the lessons which 

Perikles has written with his life and Thucydides with 

his pen, the lessons expanded by the more enlarged 

experience of Aristotle and Polybios, the lessons which 

breathe a higher note of warning still as Demosthenes 

lives the champion of freedom and dies its martyr — 

so long will lessons such as these never cease to speak 

with the same truth and t^e same freshness even to 

countless generations. The continent which gave 

birth to Kleisthenes and Cains licinius and Simon of 

Montfort may indeed be doomed to be trampled under 

foot by an Empire based on Universal Suffrage ; but 

no pseudo-democratic despot, no Caesar or Dionysios 

ruling by the national will of half a million of bayonets 

will ever quite bring back Europe to the state of a 

land of Pharaohs and Nabuchodonosors, until the 

History of Thucydides, the Politics of Aristotle, and 

the Orations of Demosthenes, are wholly forgotten 



among men. 


The Greeks were indeed the first to realize the 
principle of the free commonwealth, but in a form 
too slight and delicate to survive. It was a great 
thing to have discovered that the public opinion of a 
community can be so focused as to become the 
directing as well as the driving principle of its 
government. But it never occurred to them that 
this could be done otherwise than by the citizens 
themselves meeting in the market-place to legislate, 
and it was impossible, so they believed, for a state to 

Failure of 
the Greeks 
to realize 
the prin- 
ciple of the 
except ill 

' Freeman, History of FedercU Oovemment in Greece and Italy , pp. 67-68. 
The anthor was writing when Louis Napoleon had established the Second 
Empire on the basis of uniyersal suffrage. 


CHAP, include more citizens than might listen to the voice 
of a single orator.^ The enthusiasm which inspired 
them at one time for Hellas — as the whole Greek 
people were called — might have made them one 
Hellenic commonwealth if they had understood how 
the public opinion of a people, too numerous and 
scattered to meet in one place, can be collected, 
formulated, and made to shape the law. An auto- 
cracy may include as many subjects as the edicts of 
the central government <ian reach, and up to this 
limit it tends to absorb all smaller and weaker 
states on its frontiers; with a commonwealth it is 
otherwise. To frame an edict at all the state must 
first know how to collect the wishes and experiences 
of a number of citizens, to distil from them that 
essence which may be described as public opinion 
and then to crystallize it into the form of a written 
resolution or law. The extent to which this com- 
plicated operation can be effected will determine 
how far the principle of the commonwealth can be 
realized in practice. The smaller the community the 
easier the process. The natural tendency of the 
principle is to small communities. It is exceedingly 
difficult to combine two commonwealths into one. 
But it is a mistake to assume that because a tend- 
ency is natural it is also sound ; for, left to run riot, 
this tendency would destroy the commonwealth 
itself by rendering the whole society to which it is 
applied as unstable as it would be if organized on. the 
tribal principle. 
The muiti- Hclleuic socicty was highly unstable. The nation, 
o/smaii" i^ direct contrtist to those of Asia, was divided 
re^'^ted ^^*^ * multitudc of sovercigu states, and the result 
in intef- was auarchy. ' When each town is perfectly inde- 

neoine -i . i • i i i • 

warfare, pendent and sovereign, acknowledgmg no superior 
upon earth, multitudes of disputes, which in a great 

* Aristotle, PolUicSj iv. (vii.) 4. 


• b • 








monarchy or a Federal republic may be decided by chap. 
peaceful tribunals, can be settled by nothing but an ,^^^ 
appeal to the sword. The thousand causes which 
involve large neighbouring states in warfare all 
exist, and all are endowed with tenfold force, in the 
case of independent city - commonwealths. Border 
disputes, commercial jealousies, wrongs done to 
individual citizens, the mere vague dislike which 
turns a neighbour into a natural enemy, all exist, 
and that in a form condensed and ini^nsified by the 
very minuteness of the scene on which they have to 
act. A rival nation is, to all but the inhabitants of 
a narrow strip of frontier, a mere matter of hearsay ; 
but a rival whose dwelling-place is within sight of 
the city gates quickly grows into an enemy who can 
be seen and felt. The highest point which human 
hatred can reach has commonly been found in the 
local antipathies between neighbouring cities. . . . 
A system of Free Cities, therefore, involves a state of 
warfare, and that of warfare carried on with all the 
bitterness of almost personal hostility. The more 
fervid the patriotism, the more intense the national 
life and vigour, the more constant and the more 
unrelenting will be the conflicts in which a city- 
commonwealth is sure to find itself engaged with its 
neighbours.' ^ As the Greek city-state was the pro- 
totype of the modem nation, so Hellas was the pro- 
totype of Europe; but with international enmities 
multiplied and aggravated to an intense degree. 
The Greek states were the dangerous enemies of each 

They were threatened, however, with an even 
greater danger from outside Hellas. Great auto- 
cracies, as we have said, naturally tend to absorb 
small states as soon as they touch them. But to the 

^ Freeman, HiUcry of Federal Government in Greece and Italy^ pp. 


GHAP. Oriental theocracy the Greek commonwealth was in 
,^^,^..,^^^,^^ its essential idea an offence. One commonwealth 
Conflict of may enslave another, but in doing so, the less com- 
with Persia mon Wealth it. But a theocracy enslaves more men 
of *t£r^^^^ '^y virtue of the principle upon which it is based. 
inherent A despot who regards himself as at once the oracle 
between and vicegerent of his God, and is so regarded by 
re^^^tive his subjccts, is but exccutiug more perfectly his 
^^^^} mission in compelling more subjects to submit to his 
tions. delegated authority. The Oriental conception of 
government was incompatible with the principle of 
the Greek state. The two systems were bound to 
come into conflict as soon as they came into touch.^ 
Persia The fiist volume of European history was written 

the^ t)y Herodotus to record and interpret this conflict. 

Eastern ^q JjJj^ j^ ^^g definitely a conflict between Greek 

common- •' 

wealths and * Barbarian ' — a phase of * that Eternal Question 

of Hellas , . , , ^ . , , . , . 

and con. which ueeds no reopenmg because no diplomacy has 
them^into ®^®^ closcd it, the qucstiou between light and dark- 
despotisms. ^ggg^ between West and East ' ; ^ and he traces its 
origin right back to the legendary days of the Trojan 
War and before it. But the climax came when 
Cyrus, prince of the warlike hill-state of Persia, 
conquered the Medes, who shared with Babylon the 
old Empire of Assyria, pushed on into Asia Minor 
and crushed Croesus, the king of Lydia, who had 
exercised a suzerainty over the Greek towns of the 
Aegean seaboard, and acted as a buffer for them 
against the East. The East in the shape of Cyrus 
and his victorious Persians was for the first time 
actually threatening the independence of the West. 
While Cyrus returned to cope with Babylon, his 
general, Mazares, proceeded to attack the Greek 
seaboard towns, which, with the exception of Miletus, 

^ The reader should here unfold the map of Greece and Persia, Plate V., 
and keep it before him while reading the following pages. 
' Freeman, Greater Greece a/nd Greater BrUain^ p. 76. 


whose great commercial position had enabled her to chap. 
obtain special terms, had one and all refused to ^,^^..,^^,.^ 
submit to Persian rule. Their gallant resistance 
was futile against the numbers of the Persians. One 
after another they were reduced. Their autonomy, 
not altogether lost under the benevolent suzerainty 
of Croesus, was now finally abolished ; their constitu- 
tions were swept away, and tyrants set up as the 
vassals of Cyrus. Most of the Greek islands off the 
coast submitted to the conqueror, but one or two 
remained independent, and it was not till some thirty 
years later that the second in succession to Cyrus on 
the Persian throne, King Darius, completed the 
conquest of the lonians, who formed the most 
important section of the coastal and island Greeks, 
by the capture of Samos. It is sad but not un- 
instructive to reflect that Samos was still, in the year 
1912, the scene of the same historic struggle between 
Western and Oriental peoples and ideas. 

The great Asiatic Empire had thus absorbed the Bat Persia 
European settlements which fringed the coast of e^SgfJ^ 
Asia Minor : but the lust for conquest and expansion *^ s°"^^" 

^ J r ®™ Russia 

was not exhausted. Cambyses, the predecessor of they re- 
Darius, had moved into Africa and annexed Egypt ; were soon 
and Darius now crossed the Bosphorus and invaded ^^f*^ 
Europe. He marched north, crossed the Danube, 
and attacked the Scythian tribes of South Russia : 
but, owing to the difficulties of supply and the 
elusive tactics of the Scythian horsemen, the Great 
King was unable to come to grips with his enemy, 
and was finally compelled to retreat from European 
soil without achieving anything. The failure of this 
Scythian expedition told heavily against Persian 
prestige, and the Ionian Greeks, who had found the 
rule of their philo-Persian tyrants and the payment 
of tribute to Darius intolerable to their inborn feeling 
for freedom, took the opportunity, a few years later, 


CHAP, to revolt. They appealed for aid to the Greeks of 
^^^^^^^^^^ the mother-country across the Aegean. Of the two 
leading states, Sparta, always afraid to embark on 
expeditions far from home, declined to help ; Athens, 
on the other hand, sent nearly half of her available 
fleet, and that despite the fact that she was in grave 
trouble with a strong and hostile neighbour, Aegina. 
The revolt was at first successful. It spread all 
round the coast and reached as far as Cyprus. But 
it was foredoomed to failure in the end, for the simple 
reason that no belt of sea protected the continental 
towns from the enormous forces which Darius could 
send against them ; and even on the sea the Ionian 
fleet was not decisively superior to the Phoenician 
fleet in the service of Persia. Hence it only needed 
time for the Persian armies to mobilize, and then 
gradually the revolt collapsed. The final and decisive 
battle was fought at sea. The leading Ionian town 
Miletus was besieged by land ; but as long as sea- 
power was still hers, she could prolong her desperate 
The It is possible that the command of the sea might 

atotes* have been retained, if, as so often, the Ionian states 
have* ^^^ ^^^ shown at this critical juncture their char- 
retained acteristic inability to act in concert. There seems to 
troi of the havc bccu somc slight bond of union, but the evi- 
their^cUs^^ deucc is too scauty to enable us to state its exact 
union. character. There was some body, apparently, which 
issued coins for the use of the rebel states as a whole 
and could send envoys in the name of all the lonians. 
But of any joint military or naval authority we hear 
nothing, and the fleet which gathered for the last 
fight at Lade was under no single supreme com- 
mander; the contingent of each town obeyed its 
native admiral and no one else. 

The Persians, who were no sailors, relied on the 
navy of Phoenicia which they had conquered and 


added to their Empire. As a fighting unit, a ship chap. 
manned by these Phoenician vassals was by no means s^^.^^^^^ 
8 match for a ship manned by free and adventurous Defe&t by 
Greeks. But the Phoenician ships, commanded by nicians^of 
a single admiral, had been trained to manoeuvre floet^^*^ 
together. With the Greeks it was otherwise. Their ^^ ot 
navy reproduced the multiplicity of the common- soiiadrons 
wealths from which it was drawn. Each separate noUearned 
squadron had its own commander. But there was no ^™^^°®'^ 
government common to them all, and therefore no ceaTres. 
admiral in chief competent to train the different 
squadrons to play their part in the evolutions of a 
combined fleet. The Phoenician navy was. like a 
football team of indifferent players who have been 
long and carefully trained together, matched against 
better men who will not even appoint a captain and 
obey his lead. One of the Greek admirals, Dionysius 
of Phocaea, saw the danger, and atfirst persuaded the 
whole fleet to submit to tactical training under bis 
direction. The plan worked excellently for a while, 
but soon they tired of the strict discipline and the 
loss of independence, and threw over their allegiance 
to the one man who could have saved them. * From 
the day on which the lonians discarded Dionysius, 
their camp became a scene of disunion and mistrust. 
Some of them grew so reckless and unmanageable 
that the better portion despaired of maintaining any 
orderly battle.' * Worse than that, early in the fight, 
the strong Samian contingent, undermined before- 
hand by the intrigues of the former philo-Peisian 
tyrant of their state, abandoned the cause and sailed 
away for home. Many other contingents followed 
their disgraceful example. Some, notably the ships 
of Dionysius, fought on heroically against odds, but a 
decisive victory for Persia was now inevitable. The 
battle broke Ionian sea power to pieces. 

^ Grote, History of Oreeegf p. 130. 








on the 

Greeks in 


attack on 
and their 
defeat at 

' The defeat of the lonians at Lade was complete 
as well as irrevocable. . . . The capture of Miletus, in 
the sixth year from the commencement of the revolt, 
carried with it the rapid submission of the neighbour- 
ing towns in ELaria ; and during the next summer — 
the Phoenician fleet having wintered at Miletus — the 
Persian forces by sea and land reconquered all the 
Asiatic Greeks, insular as well as continental. Chios, 
Lesbos, and Tenedos — the towns in the Chersonese — 
Selymbria and Perinthus in Thrace — Prokonnesus 
and Artake in the Propontis — all these towns were 
taken or sacked by the Persian and Phoenician fleet. 
. . . The threats which had been held out before the 
battle of Lade were realized to the fulL The most 
beautiful Greek youths and virgins were picked out, 
to be distributed among the Persian grandees as 
eunuchs or inmates of the harems. The cities, with 
their edifices, sacred, as well as profane, were made a 
prey to the flames ; and in the case of the islands, 
Herodotus even tells us that a line of Persians was 
formed from shore to shore, which swept each territory 
from north to south, and drove the inhabitants out of 
it. . . . Samos was made an exception to the rest, and 
completely spared by the Persians, as a reward to its 
captains for setting the example of desertion at the 
battle of Lade; while Aeakes, the despot of that 
island, was reinstated in his Government.'^ The 
Samians had committed that fundamental treachery 
known to the Greeks as Medizing, the abandonment' 
of the ideals of Hellas for those of the Asiatic Medes. 
Submission to despotism was one of the natural 

But, as Herodotus says, this was only the beginning 
of trouble for the Greeks. Darius had reduced the 
Greek rebels in Asia Minor, but the insult offered 
him by Athens in sending them help was still un- 

* Grote, History of Oreecey pp. 130-133. 


punished, and he at once began his preparations for ohap. 
an expedition across the Aegean. He was encouraged ^^^^^^ 
and assisted in this design by the old despot Hippias, 
who, nearly twenty yeats before this, had been 
expelled from Athens when despotism was put down 
and democracy established. He hoped that Darius 
would easily overcome the resistance of the little 
city-state he had once ruled, and restore him as the 
vassal -despot of an enslaved ccnmnonwealth. Two 
years after Lade, in 492 B.C., a Persian army, accom- 
panied by a fleet, attempted to reach Oreece by land, 
but the difficulties of the route were too great and 
the expedition returned after definitely establishing 
the suzerainty of Darius over the coasts of Thrace 
and Macedon. The next blow was more direct. In 
490 B.O., a famous year in the long annals of the 
struggle between East and West, the Persian fleet 
crossed the Aegean and landed a Persian army on 
the coast of Attica at Marathon. The Athenian 
army, a mere fraction of the Persian force in numbers, 
was drawn up on the slopes, ready to oppose a march 
by the invaders upon Athens. After a few days of 
anxious waiting the battle came on. By one brilliant 
charge down the slope and a bout of hand-to-hand 
fighting in the plain the well-trained, heavy-armed 
Athenians broke the Persian invaders and drove 
them to their ships. Immediately after the battle 
the Athenian general marched his force back across 
the slopes to Athens ; for the Persian fleet, warned 
by a signal from the friends of Hippias that the town 
itself was undefended, had doubled round the cape 
and was threatening to deliver a second blow. Find- 
ing, however, that the victorious Athenian army was 
already back and prepared to meet him, the Persian 
commander returned to Asia with his task unfulfilled. 
Marathon was the most inspiring event in Athenian 
history, and the golden age of Athens in the fifth 





ftnce of 


Greece in 
defence of 
pylae by 

centurj would have been impoesible without it. It 
not only saved the Athenian commonwealth from 
destraction at the hands of a restored Hippias, and 
all the ideals of liberty from the deadening pressure 
of Oriental rule ; but it had also given that common- 
wealth and those ideals their proof and justification 
in the eyes of Greece. 

Darius died before completing the preparations 
he at once put in hand for avenging Marathon. 
They were continued, however, by his successor, 
Xerxes, who in 481 B.a set in motion a far hnger 
force, which for its very size was obliged to try again 
the route of the Thracian coast Stirred to action 
by a peril which now visibly threatened all Hellas, 
Sparta at length assumed her traditional position as 
military leader of the Greek states and garrisoned 
the narrow defile of Thermopylae, through which the 
invading armies must pass before they could pene- 
trate further south than Thessaly, whidi, since its 
aristocratic rulers were pro -Persian and it had no 
easily defensible frontier, had perforce submitted. 
Through the treachery of a Medizing Greek the 
position was turned; but rather than quit his post 
Leonidas the Spartan king preferred to perish with 
his three hundred men. They were buried where 
they fell in the narrow pass, on whose rocky wall 
were engraved the words — 

Go tell Sparta thou that passeth by, 
That here obedient to her laws we lie — 

an epitaph which shows where obedience in a 
commonwealth is due, and how glorious the obligation 
of rendering it without reserva Such acts bear 
witness to the only principle by which men can 
be bound immutably to men, the principle which 
denies any limit to the obligation due from the 
citizen to the state. It is the one relation between 


them that bo shifting of interests can aifect — an ohap. 
uncovenanted bond based upon an nncalculating s^..^.,^,.,^^ 
motive. There is no bargain to break between men 
bound by absolute dedication, and so bound they 
constitute a state, the one form of society which can 
be rendered stable, the noblest that man will ever 
achieve for himself. 

The road to Athens was now open, and Xerxes why the 
marched upon it, his fleet accompanying him round amy*° 
the coast. The reason for this is obvious. His army ^!5!?^i®^ 

J upon sea 

was large enough to sweep Greece from shore to power, 
shore, as the Persians had swept the Islands. But it 
was far too large to support itself on so poor a country, 
and for provisions depended absolutely upon the 
command of the sea. The Delphic oracle had advised 
the Athenians to ' trust to their wooden walls,' and it 
was to their ships that they retired when the Persian 
occupied their city. There, in the sheet of water 
enclosed by the coast of Attica and the island of 
Salamis, where the women and children of Athens had 
taken refuge, the nascent civilization of Europe turned 
to bay. 'The combined fleet which had now got 
together consisted of 366 ships. Of these no less than 
200 were Athenian, twenty among which, however, 
were lent to the Chalkidians and manned by them. 
Forty Corinthian ships, thirty Aeginetan, twenty 
Megarian, sixteen Lacedaemonian, fifteen Sikyonian, 
ten Epidaurian, seven from Ambrakia and as many 
&om Eretria, five from Troezen, three from Hermione, 
and the same number from Leukas ; two from Keos, 
two from Styra, and one from Kythnos ; four from 
Naxos, despatched as a contingent to the Persian 
fleet, but brought by the choice of their captains and 
seamen to Salamis, — ^all these triremes, together with 
a small squadron of the inferior vessels called pente- 
konters, made up the total' ^ 

^ Grote, History of Greece, p. 206. 


CHAP. Themistocles the Athenian admiral saw that the 
^^^^^^^^.^^^ salvation of Hellas lay in using her ships not as walls 
Defeat of but as weapons. A majority of the allies were in 
Peraians f&vour of falling back to protect the Peloponnesus, 
Constamjy' where they would have been inevitably overwhelmed 
of the in the open sea by the superior numbers of the Asiatic 
Armada. By a trick Themistocles precipitated a 
battle in the narrow waters of Salamis. A disastrous 
defeat was inflicted on the Persian fleet. Its imme- 
diate effect was to cut off" the sea-borne food supplies by 
which alone the vast army of Xerxes could be supported 
in Greece. The greater part of it was compelled to re- 
treat forthwith, with Xerxes at the head of it, leaving 
Mardonius with an army no larger than could be 
supported on the com supplies of Boeotia and Thessaly, 
but inadequate for a real conquest of Greece, By him, 
Alexander, King of Macedon, was sent to seduce the 
Athenians in their ruined city and devastated country 
by offers of material reparation. Their answer was 
such as to close for ever the hope that they would 
betray the cause of Hellas to the Persians. * Cast not in 
our teeth that the power of the Persian is many times 
greater than ours : we, too, know iJiat as well as thou : 
but we nevertheless love freedom well enough to resist 
him in the best manner we can. Attempt not the vain 
task of talking us over into alliance with him. Tell 
Mardonius that as long as the sun shall continue in his 
present path wewill never contract alliance withXerxes : 
we will encounter him in our own defence, putting our 
trust in the aid of those Gods and heroes to whom 
he has shown no reverence, and whose houses and 
statues he has burnt. Come thou not to us again 
with similar propositions, nor persuade us, even in 
the spirit of goodwill, into unholy proceedings : thou 
art the guest and friend of Athens, and we would 
not that thou shouldst suffer injury at our hands.' ^ 

^ Grote, History of Oreecet p. 222. 


On receiving this message Mardonius— -who had chap. 
now been joined by all his Greek auxiliaries and by s.^^..,^^,,^ 
fresh troops from Thrace and Macedon — marched on The 
Athens which appealed to Sparta for help in vain. enlbied\y 
Once more the Peloponnesian states, entrenched ^j^^^^^" 
behind the Isthmus of Corinth, were thinking of them- Greek 
selves alone, and failed to respond to the unshaken more to 
fidelity shown by the Athenians in the cause of ^tffi. 
Hellas. They allowed Mardonius to reoocupy Athens 
in May or June 479 B.O. ; her indignant people again 
retreating behind their ships to Salamis. 

But Sparta was now frightened by fear of treachery Mardonius 
on the part of her own allies, for Mardonius was and siafn 
intriguing with Argos to block the Isthmus against ^n/p^f** 
the exit of Spartan forces. The Spartans anticipated sian forces 
their possible intentions, and Mardonius, apprised of Asia Minor, 
their movement by the Argives, evacuated Attica and 
retired to Boeotia. There Pausanias the Spartan 
king followed at the head of the combined forces 
of Greece, and inflicted upon him a signal defeat 
at Plataea« Mardonius himself fell in the act of 
attempting to rally his broken ranks. The reputation 
of Sparta was thus retrieved. On the same day 
forces landed at Mycale on the coast of Asia Minor 
and inflicted a crqshing defeat on the Persian armies, 
and in this battle the first honours were accorded to 
the Athenians. 

The Persian wars had revealed the strength and The energy 
weakness of Greece. ' The strug^e had brought into teiiigence 
strong relief the contrast between absolute monarchy ^^^^ ^^ 
and constitutional freedom. This appeared in two geiiaswas 

■'"'*■ , the pro- 

things : the Greek strategy was superior ; and the duct of her 

Greek troops fought better. Athens, in particular, tiaions/ 

had shown how both the intelligence and the spirit of 

citizens are raised by equal laws. The mistakes of 

the invaders — which, to a Greek mind, might well 

have seemed the work of Ate — were such as are 


CHAP, natural when a vast force is directed by the in- 
^^^^^^^^^ temperance of a single wilL' * 

But these But Greek patriotism, which was the froit of 

^ ^^ freedom, had been almost neutralized by the absence 

ne™tni[i- ^^ *^ equivalent organization. Hellas was broken 

izedby into a multitude of parts each of which might 

disorgaa- jeopardize the safety of the whole. The nobles of 

izBtioD. Theasaly had shown that they were eager to establish 

the supremacy of their order with the help of Asiatic 

despotism. To them their own power in Thessaly 

counted more than the ideals of all Hellas. Through 

hatred of their neighbours Argos and Thebes had 

betrayed the common cause. Even Sparta and her 

Peloponnesian allies had been disposed to confine 

themselves to the defence of their own peninsula, 

leaving Athens and the Northern states to their fate, 

scarcely perceiving that in that fate their own would 

be involved. 

United The War had proved that the safety of Hellas 

knd^and^ depended on the co-operation of land and sea forces. 

sea forces ^o maintain the control of the sea was the primary 

wasneeded , n t r t i -i- • 

to preserve Condition of her freedom, though victories must also 
dom. be won by land before her soil could be freed from 
the invader. Thus Salamis was more decisive than 
Plataea, but neither could have availed dione to rid 
Greece of the Persians. Nor was either of them the 
work of a single state. Athens had snatched her 
victory at Marathon single-handed; but, glorious as 
it was, the forces engaged were very small compared 
with those required to defeat Xerxes. Athens, single- 
handed, was as powerless to win Salamis as to defend 
Attica from invasion. Sparta, in the same way, 
could not alone have won Plataea, nor would the 
victory have availed her if Persian ships had been 
free meanwhile to land a force in Laconia to overrun 
her native valley. The war, in fact, had shown that 

^ Professor R. C. Jebb, Article on * Greece,* Mq/, Brit. vol. xi p. 100. 


no Greek state was strong enough to stand alone ohap. 
against the jealousy of an Oriental power. Some ^^ 
larger combination was essential if Hellenic ciyiliza- 
tion was to survive a second attack. 

' In the heat of the conflict, when the barriers of During the 
city patriotism were broken down and Greeks found ^mm^on 
themselves fighting, to their astonishment, not against ^^/^aJft^^ 
but with their neighbours, they had dreamed for a seemed 
moment of making Greece a single state. " Surely," eiX^ to 
they argued round thdr camp-fires, " she has all the HeUen^ 
makings of a nation. What is there between you and common. 

o ^ J wealth. 

me ? We have the same blood in our veins, from Zeud 
and Father Hellen. We speak the same language, 
else we could not be chatting, albeit with difficulty, 
round thiy fire. We worship the same Gods, as we 
remember when we go to Delphi or Olympia; and 
we have much the same habits and understand one 
another's ways. When we have finished with these 
barbarians let us form a common state." 

' But these dreams soon faded ; for what centuries Former 
have put asunder two summers' fighting cannot bind ievived*^' 
fast. There was quarrelling even during the fighting, "^^^^ 
though men made light of it at the time ; but When 
the campaigns were over and the time for reorganiza- 
tion arrived, all the old differences revealed themselves, 
and the *^ Panhellenic confederacy " disappeared into 
the limbo of forgotten things. 

* Yet things in Greece could never again be what 
they had been before the trial came. The Greeks 
had learnt that, though love of country may make 
men brave, it is only organization that can make them 
strong. Moreover, for the liberated cities of Asia 
Minor, still technically part of the Persian Empire, 
and liable to be dunned any day by a satrap for 
tribute, some concerted system of defence was 
urgently necessary. Sparta had neither the men nor 
the money to meet this need. So she retired from a 


OHAP. position where, aft^ all, her fftmoiis land forces 

s.,^^^^^,^^ would have been of very little good to her, and left 

Bat the the field open for the newly made sailors of Athens. 

n^ity Within half a decade, almost before slow Spartan 

iMgOTMm- ^*® ^^ *^°^^ *^ grasp what was going on, "the 
bination alUancc of the Athenians" had been provisionally 

induced . _ i t /• ••ft 

the Ionian Organized, and the first great ctvtltzea aUempt to 
attempt form a state of many cities was an accomplished 
*^.^°™» fact 

joint state 

on the ' Like other great things the Athenian Empire was 

alliance or the child of neccssity, and its creators did not know 

contract ^^^^ ^^^^ ^^^^ ^^^^^ j^ j^ -^ ^^^^ j^ ^^ 

IZ^^ alliance drawn up between the Athenians and the 
brought lonians in the familiar traditional terms. " In the 
about. third year after the sea-fight at Salamis, when 
Timosthenes was chief Grovernor, Aristeides (com- 
mander of the Athenian forces) swore an oath to 
the lonians to have the same friends and enemies 
as they, to seal which they cast lumps of lead into 
the sea." How innocent it all sounds { But let us 
see what it implies, and think out the l(^c of the 
Its object, < What was the object of the alliance ? Not merely 
from to be ready to repel the Persians if they renewed the 
dom^a- attack. This was too tame a mood for the men who 
^uS-eT ^^^ J^®^ ^^^* them flying at Salamis and Mycale. 
ships and Its watchword was not Defence but Freedom. They 
^^^^y* wished to push the war into the enemy's country, to 
revenge and indemnify themselves by plundering 
for the losses they had sustained, and (to use a 
phrase familiar to the Athenian leader-writers of 
to-day) to complete the liberation of their enslaved 
brothers. They were ready and eager to be led to 
the attack. 

' But campaigning costs money ; for soldiers 
cannot live on plunder alone, certainly not when 
they are engaged in " liberating." And if half the 


allies are islanders and warfare is to be waged by chap: 
sea, ships will be needed too. How were these s.^^,,,,^,^^^ 
two immediate needs to be met ? 

* Few of the members of the new alliance had But the 
any ships to offer. Many of them had lost their not want 
navies twice over in the last twenty years, first in t^dsMpa 
the ill-starred "Ionian Eevolt," and then again, ^J*^"**"^ 
after they had been forced to beat up contingents 
against thdr own kinsmen, at Salamis and Mycale. 

It was npt easy for them to build new ones, for, 
unlike the Phoenicians, they had not the forests of 
Lebanon just behind them. Moreover, such ships 
as they had were not of much use, for the Athenians 
had been introducing improvements in the armament 
and construction of triremes with which they had 
not kept pace. So, with the exception of the big 
islands, Samos, Lesbos, and Chios, which had a naval 
tradition to maintain, the allies gave up the idea 
of supplying ships, and were driven back on to a 
substitute for their share in the enterprise. 

• Nor ' were they very anxious to give their 
personal service on the other allies' ships, nor, if the 
truth must be told, to serve by their side in the 
field. They had never beaten the Persians in fair 
fight, like the Greeks across the water. Artemisium 
and Mycale to them called up very different 
memories : and at Lade, which might have been 
their Salamis, there was no Themistocles to over- 
come their jealousies and want of discipline. So 
the Athenians were not over-urgent in pressing them 
to take the field. They preferred comrades more 
accustomed to the hardship and discipline of naval 

'There was one natural way of settling these 
difficulties. The smaller allies were to pay the piper, 
while Athens and the large islands could call the 
tune. This was the plan which was adopted, on the 


€HAP. suggestion of Aristeides, to settle the immediate 
.,_^^,^^^„^^ needs of the first campaign. As the island of Delos 
So tijey had been fixed as the rendezvous of the allied forces 
w^th'^tho *b® Delian temple of Apollo formed a convenient 
Athenians bank, and the first contributions were paid in there. 

to pay *^ 

them for The schcmc pleased both parties, and it was deter- 
andmal- mined to regularize it. Aristeides "the upright" 
sh?^*^^ was entrusted with the task of fixing a scale of 
contributions. " It was a long business, necessitating 
much travelling" and (unless the Greeks have 
utterly changed their nature) even more tact than 
uprightness ; also " in the absence of precedents, 
many difficult inquiries, for only the cities which 
had formed part of the Persian Empire for some 
considerable time had a census of wealth which he 
could use." But by 470 the work was done. The 
total sum needed annually for the operations of the 
Alliance had been fixed at 460 talents. Aristeides 
divided this out on a proportional scale amongst the 
two hundred or so allies, and the scale was faithfully 
adhered to, as the charter of membership, until Cleon 
turned financier in 425. 

' Thus the allies had, without knowing it, slipped 
into financial centralization and established the first 
Greek Imperial Exchequer. Moreover, it was 
centralization of a peculiarly insidious kind, for the 
predominant partners, and especially Athens, who 
did most of the work and bore the chief responsibility, 
did not contribute a penny to the costs. 

* Who controlled the spending of the money ? 
Officially, of course, the allies themselves. For this 
purpose ifiey elected representatives to a Parliament 
at Delos, which, like the Ecclesia or any otlier city 
assembly, wo^ to discuss and decide upon all Tnatters 
of policy. But in practice little importance attached 
to its deliberations, for its executive officers^ the 
Athenian generals, were themselves responsible to 


their own Sovereign people : so if the two sovereigns chap. 

decided differently ^ a deadlock would ensue. The s...^,^.,^^ 

Imperial Parliament, therefore, could do little more The 

than ratify, or, if it wished to be zealous, anticipate, wm^^us 

the decisions of the Athenians. Moreover, the money ^°°^}J^. 

itself was put into the hands of the Athenian officials, ian officers 

who took 

Clearly it could not be husbanded by all the allies their orden 
together. One treasurer would be suspect, but a go^^ro" 
commission of ten was more than enough. They "thens^ 
bore an Imperial title, " Stewards of the Greeks,'' but not from 
they were Athenians by nationality and elected by League. 
the Athenian people.' ^ 

Had the lonians really succeeded in this ' attempt The state 
to form a state of many cities ' ? The state, as was ^nLTtion 
noticed in the Introduction, differs from any other ciaim^the 
form of human organization in that the authority absolute 
which it claims over the conduct of its members is undivided 
unUmited. It assumes the right to deprive them, in of iu*"^^ 
the interests of the community, of their property, of ^^^'^ers. 
their liberty, and of their lives ; and it is only while 
that claim is admitted to a {Sufficient extent by a 
sufficient number of its members that the state can 
exist. Government can only contimie so long as it 
can depend upon the willingness of a sufficient 
number of its subjects to sacrifice their lives in order • 
to secure obedience to the law. Nay more, the state 
can only thrive in so far as it can depend upon the 
subordination by the citizen of his private interests 
to those of the public in the ordinary things of daily 
life. Amongst the people of Athens at its prime this 
spirit of devotion was as widely realized as in any 
state that has ever existed. A state in which all 
the citizens were actuated by the patriotism of a 
Socrates would be completely organic, and the use of 
force to constrain the obedience of its citizens would 

* Zimmern, The Greek CoinmontoeaUh, pp. 179-183. The italics are not 
the author's. 


OHAP. be unnecessary^ because their devotion would be 
y^^,,^^^.^,^ as absolute as the claim which the state made 

upon it. 

And it was But this claim to unlimited devotion which a state 

J^yera^ niakes — ^a commonwealth no less than a despotism — 

to*tS"°* carries with it one consequence which it is im- 

Leagne, possiblc to evadc.* It precludes the rendering of such 

Greek dcvotiou to any other state. No man can serve two 

prepared** inasters. Cyrus could not admit that any one of his 

such^tu- ^^'^j®^^ could render to another authority, whether 

glance. satrap or tribal chief, the unquestioning allegiance 

he claimed as due to himself. Nor more could the 

commonwealth of Athens admit it Such devotion 

as it claimed, and as Socrates realized to perfection, 

could not be rendered by its citizens to any other 

human authority. No man can be the subject of 

two states, and the man who feels the immeasurable 

obligation which his citizenship lays upon him and 

sets out to fulfil it had best be clear in his mind first 

of all where that obligation is due. No Athenian 

would have doubted fliat that obligation, so far as he 

was concerned, was due to the laws of Athens. But 

what was true of Athens was true no less of Samos, 

ChioSy Lesbos, and the hundreds of other communities 

which joined in ^ this first great civilized attempt to 

form a state of many cities.' Each and all of them 

would have claimed the absolute devotion of their 

citizens, and to each and all of them those citizens 

would have confessed their ultimate allegiance to be 

due. In the last analysis it was to Athens, Samos, 

Chios, and Lesbos that the individual citizen felt 

himself to be dedicate, from the cradle to the grave, 

^ There may be cases in which the citizen is called npon to resist the 
government and even the law in the interests of the state itself, but how or 
when they arise is a question irrelevant to the point at issue. Normally, the 
duty of the citizen to obey his state is clear, and it is therefore of crucial 
importance that he should know what his state is. He cannot evade this 
question by discussing whether a particular law is so immoral that he ought 
to resist it. 


It was for his city-state that he could make the final chap. 
sabmiBsioD and the supreme sacrifice — not Hellas. 

But the Persian wars had forced him to realize the They 

unpalatable fact that his beloved city-state was too therofore, 

small to maintain its separate existence. Even tiie ^"^00" 

largest of them — Athens — was forced to recognize tract be- 


that it could not live in isolation, and that all the sovereiffn 
Ionic states which bordered on the Aegean had a pro^Ln 
common danger and a common interest in uniting to ^^^^Jjy*^^ ' 
avert it. What was more natural than to think that was too 

«vk weftK to 

with such identity of interest the whole difficulty mamtain 
could be met by these states contracting with each ^^'**®®^^- 
other for their mutuaL protection ? To the general 
defence each city was to contribute according to its 
means and also in the manner which best suited its 
convenience. Actual experience of war had taught 
them the folly of separate armaments. There was to 
be one army, one navy, and a common ehest. It 
followed, therefore, that there must also be one body 
to command these forces, and also to control the 
foreign policy of the League. * For this purpose^' says 
Zimmern, * they elected representatives to a Pc^lia- 
ment at Delos, whichy like the Ecclesia or any other 
city assembly y was to discuss and decide v/pon all 
matters of policy.' 

Amongst the allied states politicians were doubtless But the 
found to talk as though this Delian synod were the wm dUs- 
federal counterpart of the ecclesia which governed a J^®^^ 
Greek democracy. Btft before we accept their opinion govem- 
we must examine it somewhat more closely. Let us his sute 
therefore consider the position of a delegate at Delos Jeered 
bound, 9& he certainly must often have been bound, by from the 
instruction from the state that sent him there. What the League, 

"I • *j^* 1. • -1 j^T 11-1 which had 

was his position when a majority on the synod resolved no means 
on a course contrary to his instructions ? Where in fo/^°^° 
this case was his obedience due, — to his state or to the ^o«i°« ^^ 

_. authority. 

League ? And, should his state withhold the tribute 




to enforce 

of the 
League on 
the states, 
and by 
her power 

they were pledged to pay until their wishes had been 
met, was the League justified in enforcing that pay- 
ment ? Or, when the fleets of the League were called 
out to enforce payment on a recalcitrant state, what 
was the duty of an individual citizen in that state, 
the captain perhaps of a ship belonging to it ? Was 
it his duty to aid the League in exacting the promised 
payment, or to obey the call of the state government 
to resist the exaction ? The truth is that the Delian 
synod was neither an ecclesia nor a parliament of 
repreaentatives, but a congress of delegates like that 
which the thirteen American states established in 
1781, and which collapsed because the delegates felt 
themselves bound, not by the vote of the majority, but 
by the instructions of the state which had sent them. 
It differed not in degree but in kind from the ecclesia 
of a Greek democracy, from the congress^ of repre- 
sentatives established in Washington in 1789, and 
from the parliament of a British Dominion. It is 
either in the Diet of the Holy Roman Empire, in the 
Congress of 1781, or in the Imperial Conference that 
its true counterpart must be sought. If * little irnpart- 
ance attached to its deliberations ' it was because, like 
the proceedings of these other bodies, they could 
settle nothing and effect nothing in practice. 

But the danger from Persia was still imminent, 
and the need for united action too obvious for 
dispute. It must therefore have been with the 
general approval of the allies that Athens, which had 
undertaken to build and man the ships, should like- 
wise undertake to direct policy and to collect by 

^ See footnote to page 138 of Freeman's Greater Greece and Greater Britain, 
*The use of the word Congress for the Federal Assembly of the United 
States, is a curious instance of the survival of a word when a thing ex- 
pressed by it has wholly changed its nature. Up to 1789 the United States 
had a body which had naturally borrowed the name of Congress from the 
diplomatic gatherings from which it had much in common. In 1789 this 
mere Congress gave way to a real Federal Parliament. But the Federal 
Parliament kept the name of the imperfect institution which it supplanted.' 


^ ^e the contributions due from defaulting states, chap. 
-^^Izbtless they assumed, as did the Americans on 
the morrow of their victory over England, that each 
state could be trusted spontaneously and con- 
tinuously to fulfil the terms of the compact. But, 
as ckll experience shows, it is in practice impossible 
to rely on a number of parties (the Delian League 
included at its fullest well over 200) spontaneously 
to fulfil the terms of a bargain. The failure of 
aay one of them was an injustice to the rest, pro- 
voking and excusing a similar failure on the part of 
others. But the failure of a number jeopardized the 
safety of the whole, and if the League was really to 
secure -its. members against Persia, recusant states 
had to be compelled to furnish the contributions they 
^^re pledged to pay. 

To begin with, and so long as the danger from 

P^raia continued, the Athenians were only enforcing 

justice to the majority when they exercised the 

executive powers entrusted to them to exact from 

the minority the fulfilment of their obligations. 

^he alhes who took no part in the active administra- 

^on of their external affairs ceased to understand 

^tein, or to realize the dangers by which they were 

threatened and the necessity for the continued 

existence of the League. Lack of direct responsibility 

Diust have infallibly undermined their loyalty to 

the League and have made them less ready to 

contribute their quota, except under the pressure 

of a constraining executive. On the other hand, 

the executive power of the Athenians inevitably 

grew with its exercise until, when the danger from 

Persia seemed to have abated, Athens was in a 

position to dominate the League. Not only did the 

^ynod cease to exist, but the Imperial treasury was 

transferred to Athens. The allies ceased to be 

pftrtners and became subjects. To Athenian officers 




The ex- 
proved that 
a state 
cannot be 
based on 
a balance 
of interests 
ties, but 
must rest 
on the 
of indi- 

Athens and not the Confederacy was the state to 
which their ultimate loyalty was due, and when the 
Athenian Democracy required the money of their 
allies to be spent on themselves, their officers, 
the so-called 'stewards of the Greeks/ acquiesced, 
and so spent it. Amongst the allies there was a 
growing sense of injustice. Their devotion to the 
League, instead of being fostered, was ali^iated. 
It had, in fact, ceased to be a league without be- 
coming a state. It had become an Empire in which 
one state dominated the rest for its own aggrandize- 

Such were the results of the first, but by no 
means the last attempt to found a stable society on 
the principle of contract, — on a balance of interests 
between separate states, and to dispense with the 
only bond by which a society can be rendered stable ; 
one which binds the individual man to the whole 
society by a tie stronger than that which unites 
him to any separate part of it, — by the strongest 
tie by which men can be bound at all — that of 
absolute and final dedication. It is the only human 
relation which cannot shift; for interests, however 
well balanced they may seem to begin with, invariably 
shift, and when they do so the whole structure, 
which depends on the maintenance of their balance, 
is thrown awry. In the League of Delos the 
interests shifted the moment the allies felt that their 
independence was more nearly threatened by the 
power of Athens than by that of Persia. But by 
that time Athens had grown used to the luxury of 
spending the contributions of the allies, and had 
also established her power to enforce them. Thence- 
forward the interests of the League diverged from 
those of the subordinate states, and all their citizens 
were placed in a false position by the conflicting 
claims made on their loyalty. And so it must ever 


be with every device which confuses the direct chap. 
relation of the citizen to his state, and puts him in ^^^^^ 
doubt as to what his state is and where his allegiance 
is due. As Freeman has weightily declared, 'the 
Staatenhimd has never yet really worked well under 
any circumstances ' ; ^ and in practice such devices 
have invariably yielded some monstrous results. 
The chapter of Greek history which Herodotus 
wrote tells how Hellas was saved from Persian 
despotism by her most brilliant commonwealth. In 
the next chapter Thucydides tells us how Sparta, 
Corinth, and other Hellenic states combined to 
attack that very commonwealth, because, so they 
claimed, her despotism was no less intolerable thau 
that of Persia. 

l?he paradox of the position was that it was Athens, 
precisely daring these years that Athens was creating de^„d 
the ideal city-state patriotism described above, and {o^^ty^of 
planting in her citizens a devotion to the common- iier allies, 


wealth transcending and inspiring all the other conquered 
emotions of their lives. But, just at the same time afdecfb^ 
as she was thus perfecting the idea of a common- ^JJI**" 
wealth limited in scope to the city-state, she was 
&iling to grasp the idea of a wider Imperial Common- 
wealth. It was a tragic paradox. The combined 
attack was successful. After a war of twenty-seven 
years' duration (431-404), Athens in the end was 
beaten, her fleet destroyed, and the * subjects of 
Athens ' set free. 

Had she only succeeded in unifying the organiza- 
ti<m and the sentiment of the Delian League there 
can be little doubt that the League would have 
maintained its control of the sea and defeated Sparta. 
As it was, she could extort more * tribute ' from her 
'subjects' and build more ships with it, but she 
could not force those subjects to man those ships and 

^ Freenuui, Oreater Ofreece and OreaUt Britain, p. 185. 



CHAP, fight side by side with her own citizens in defence of 

a common state and a common ideal. Indeed, she 

could not trust them if trained to arms not to bear 

them against herself. The time came when she had 

barely enough crews to keep a strong fleet at sea, 

and when the enemy faced her on her own element 

she was crushed at last and her sea-power brok^i. 

And the loss of the command of the sea spelt ruin. 

Like modem England she depended for the bulk of 

her food on supplies from oversea, and not long after 

the last sea-fight she was starved into surrender. 

Thereafter With the fall of Athens the great age of Greece 

^i^nioa CA^6 to its closc, and the sequel is a story of decline. 

enabled jhe Voluntary union of the Greek world had ceased 

Persia once *' 

more to to be possiblc. In the fourth century the divisions 
Hellas. between the Greek states grew deeper than ever. 
There was constant war, and each state avowedly 
fought for its own hand. The renewal of the Persian 
advance no longer evoked a common sentiment of 
hostility and a common determination to resist it. It 
was Persian gold that enabled Sparta to maintain the 
fleet which had beaten Athens, and presently she was 
guilty of an even blacker treachery to Hellenic ideals. 
The fall of Athens did not really free the Aegean 
states from external domination. Sparta professed to 
have made war to restore their autonomy ; but they 
soon found that her little finger was thicker than the 
Athenian thigh. Spartan rule was far more despotic 
and even less organic than Athenian. And now it 
was Persia's chance at last. She began to play 
a double game with consummate skill and a single 
eye to the restoration of her despotic power over 
the Greek states of Asia Minor. After helping 
Sparta to crush Athens, she changed sides, attacked 
Sparta, and set Athens on her feet once more. It 
was the Persian fleet, commanded by the exiled 
Athenian admiral Conon, that won the battle of 


Cnidus in 394, closed Sparta's brief tenure of sea- chap. 
power, and released the island states from her control. 
It was the Persian fleet, with a Persian sdtrap on 
board, that appeared in the same year off the coast 
of Attica — actually within sight of Salamis — and 
enabled the Atheniahs by its protection to rebuild 
the long walls. It was Persian intrigue, moreover, 
which now brought about a coalition of Athens, 
Thebes, Argos, and Corinth, a strange medley of old 
friends and foes, and launched against Sparta the 
Corinthian War. Then, after some six years' desultory 
fighting, Persia, seeing that it was time to change sides 
once more, negotiated a peace in pursuance of which 
the following rescript was issued to the Greek world : 
'King Artazerxes thinks it just that the cities in 
Asia, and the islands of Olazomenae and Cyprus, shall 
belong to him. ... If any refuse to accept this 
peace, I shall make war on them, along with those 
who are of the same purpose, both by land and sea, 
with both ships and money.' Persia and Sparta 
together were strong enough to enforce these dis- 
graceful terms, and a great part of Hellas was 
abandoned once more to the despotism of Asia. 
Thus closed this phase of the long conflict between 
East and West. The tables had been turned indeed 
on the victors of Marathon and Salamis, Plataea and 
Mycale. And the miserable reversal was not due to 
any essential change in the relative strength of Greek 
and Persian. The disciplined Greek hoplite was 
still a match for any number of despot-ridden sub- 
jects of the Great King. A properly equipped Greek 
fleet could still have scattered his Phoenician ships. 
The cause was simply the failure of the Greeks to 
unite, to extend their noble ideal of local city-state 
patriotism into a wider and greater field, and to 
oi^anize Hellenic patriotism for the task of preserving 
the heritage of Hellas. 




to domin- 
ate the 


of Asia 

y Philip. 


Through the one remaining chapter of Greek 
history that must here be told mns the same paradox 
of Greek politics. In the internal life of the city-state 
Hellenic civilisation was still at its height. At 
Athens it was the age of Plato and AriBtotle» Demos- 
thenes and Isocrates, Praxiteles *and Scopaa ; and the 
domestic policy of the restored Athenian democracy 
was moderate and wise. But in external politics 
it is still the same story of bitter rivalry and conflict. 
Sparta's military supremacy was at last overthrown 
by the newly developed power of Thebes. But 
Thebes produced generals, not statesmen ; she made 
no permanent use of her advantage, and at the battle 
of Mantinea lost what she had gained at the battle 
of Leuctra. Athens recovered her old command of 
the sea, but made no use of it for the delivery of 
Hellas. And in the meantime a new power was 
developing in the North which was soon to overshadow 
the petty conflicts of the Greeks and destroy for ever 
the reality of their autonomy. Macedon was oalj 
a half-Hellenized country, but it had an inunense 
advantage over the more cultivated Greeks. It was 
a unified national state with a single army under a 
single ruler ; and it was not a very difficult task for 
Philip II., the Macedonian king, to make himself the 
dominant power in the Balkan Peninsula. The 
Greeks, who had failed to combine against Persia, 
were little disposed to combine against a master, 
himself half Greek His victory at Chaeronea in 
338 closes the career of the city-states of Hellas as 
independent powers. 

Now for the first time all Greece was united, but 
united in subjection. Philip summoned delegates 
from all the states to a congress, and at its second 
meeting proposed that the confederate Greek world 
should undertake its long-shirked national duty and, 
with himself at its head, attack Persia and rescue 


the Greek states of Asia Minor from the domination chap. 
of the Great King. The expedition was voted, but 
with little enthusiasm. The Greeks still looked on 
Macedon as an outsider; they did not want Philip 
for their leader ; and under any leader they did not 
care to renew the old struggle with Persia. How 
little Philip trusted in Greek union or loyalty is 
shown by the fact that he had to leave three strong 
Macedonian garrisons in Greece when at last he 
started for the great campaign. 

His plans were interrupted by his death, but only Asia con- 
fer a moment. Alexander, one of the most brilliant l^xandw 
soldiers in history, was even more competent than his Jj/**^** 
father to carry them to an issue. In 834 he crossed the Punjab. 
Hellespont at the head of an army, and by 3 26 had 
become master of Asia from the Aegean to the Punjab. 
Asia Minor was thoroughly Hellenized, and remained 
Greek until its civilization was wiped out by the 
Turks in the eleventh century. Alexander was 
planning the conquest of Arabia, which would almost 
certainly have been followed by that of Carthage 
and Rome, when he suddenly died at the age of 
thirty-two. The vast Empire which he had not lived 
to organize quickly fell to pieces and made way for 
the enduring work of Rome. 

From the standpoint of the present inquiry the Hisat- 
conception which underlay this Empire is of the unTte^Eaat 
deepest interest. Alexander's idea had been, by P^^^est 
conquering the entire known world, to correlate state by 
within the bosom of one state the civilizations of tothe"'^ 
Europe and Asia. Seeking for some political idea o"theo.^* 
common to both, by which to unite them, he fell ^'"^y- 
back on the primitive belief of the Homeric Greeks 
that the authority of rulers is derived from the 
divinity of their origin. It is this which explains his 
strange visit to the Oracle of Ammon whose priests 
were constrained to greet him as the son, not of 


CHAP. Philip, but of God. Thenceforward he exacted from 
^^^^^^ hifl followers an acknowledgment of his divinity. 
His purpose, so the latest German authority believes/ 
was to secure some title by which he could command 
the obedience of the East as well as the West, and 
this, like the Roman Emperors, he could only do by 
making the West revert to the Oriental idea of 
theocracy. The racial fusion of East and West was 
also part of this policy of world-empire. Ten thousand 
of his Macedonians were wedded to Persian women of 
the same standing at Susa, and Alexander himself 
married the daughter of Darius. The scheme next 
provided for transplantations of Greeks into Asia and 
Asiatics into Europe ; and the first part of this was 
carried olit in the countless Greek settlements which 
the conqueror dotted over the East. In the third 
place, there was to be military service on equal terms. 
Greek military schools were established in each 
province, and in five years' time an army of 30,000 
Asiatics, trained and armed in Macedonian fashion, 
was ready to take the field. Persians were actually 
incorporated by the young conqueror in the veteran 
ranks of his Macedonian army. It is fortunate 
indeed that he did not live to realize his dreams, for 
his Empire would have been one in which the Asiatic 
elements would have so outweighed the European, 
that Eastern conceptions and habits would probably 
have extinguished the nascent ideals of the West. 
This, in truth, was the danger from which Rome was 
destined to save Europe. 
The It is unnecessary for our purpose to trace the 

w^th, as history of the Greek states until they were finally 
the^Greeks incorporated in the Roman Empire and vanished. 
was too jjew confederations were attempted, but never on a 

slight to . 1. ^ 

survive, footing wide or firm enough to enable the Hellenes 
to become the masters of their own fate. The 

^ E. Meyer, Kleine Schrifien. 


greatest of all political ideas had been theirs, and chap, 
they had been able to explain as well as to realize it 
— but only in miniature. The republics they pro- 
duced did not contain more citizens than could 
listen to the voice of a single orator. As they 
believed, it was impossible for a larger community 
than this so to formulate public opinion that it could 
be used as the governing principle of the state. 
But if history had justified this belief, communities 
developed on the principle of the commonwealth 
must always have been as fissiparous as primitive 
tribes. No more than the tribal system could this 
principle have produced a stable society. Had 
Athens, and states no larger than she was, proved to 
be the only possible expression of free institutions, 
and Europe had been parcelled out into a multitude 
of tiny republics, she and her civilization would have 
perished, as Hellas perished, in their internecine 
struggles. 'The one word city-state explains the 
catastrophe which overtook the whole eastern side 
of the antique world. The city-state is necessarily 
no match in war for the organized country-state. 
That the western side escaped this fate is due to the 
union of Italy under the strong leadership of Rome.' ^ 

Like Athens, Rome was a city republic superior Rome, 
in energy to those around her; but those energies oity-Btate, 
were concentrated in fitness for war, and were not, ^y®"^ 
like those of Athens, partly diverted to culture. 
Like other city-states she was in perpetual conflict 
with neighbours, and always ended by conquering 
them, until she was mistress of Italy. In the Roman 
character there existed a certain love of order, and 
it was the comparatively settled conditions which 
followed her conquests that reconciled men to her 

* Seeleji Tntroduciion to Political Science^ p. 366. 

* The reader shonld here unfold the map of the Roman Kmpire, Plate VI. 




She then 

fleets and 
dated the 
into one 

which was 
by Greek 

of Rome 
with Asia. 








No sooner was the position of Rome in Italy 
secured than she found herself committed to a 
struggle for existence with the one Oriental people 
which has acted as a link between Eastern and 
Western ideas. The Phoenician branch of the Semitic 
race was beginning to outflank Europe from the 
south. Rome, howerer, became a sea-power, mastered 
the Mediterranean, and in 146 B.c. the destruction 
of Cartilage left her incomparably the strongest 
power on its shores. All the varied races inhabiting 
the Mediterranean were rapidly brought beneath her 
rule, and thus for the first time were kneaded into 
one political lump. Greece was part of the lump, 
and rapidly leavened the whole. 

A process, however, which extended the Roman 
Empire into Asia Minor, inevitably brought it face 
to face with the ancient powers of the East. From 
the necessities of the case some frontiers had to be 
established between them and Rome, and no thought- 
ful student of history will agree with Ferrero in 
regarding the campaigns of Sulla, of LucuUus, of 
Pompey, of Caesar, of Antony and of Augustus, 
mainly as plundering expeditions organized for the 
advancement and profit of themselves and their 
political satellites. It was the same necessity which 
drove Caesar and his successors to master, so far as 
the means at their disposal enabled them to do so, 
the barbarian powers which threatened the Empire 
from the North. 

Their organizing genius had enabled the citizens 
of Rome to conquer vast dominions which they 
inclined to treat as though half the world could 
be handled as their municipal commonage, or rather 
as the estates of the ruling oligarchy. Thus in the 
last century before the Christian era, the city-state 
of Rome had achieved, by very difierent means and 
upon a scale enormously larger, a po^ition similar to 



that of Athens. But unlike Athens the communities 
over which she ruled were not of one race, language, 
religion, and civilization. In their diversity they, in 
fact, resembled those now included in the British 
Empire. It was the first attempt to correlate in 
one system the many and various families of mankind. 
Like Athens she began by treating them as posses- 
sions, and ruled them primarily in the interests of 
the city republic of Borne. 

Just as the lonians had revolted from Atfiens so 
the Italians revolted from Roma But Rome survived 
and had the wisdom to admit the Italians to her 
citizenship. In the Roman as in the Greek republics 
the ultimate sovereignty vested in the citizens them- 
selves assembled in the market-place of the town. 
But the assembly of this multitude in the Roman 
forum was impossible. The republican constitution 
of Rome became a farce, and government rapidly 
passed into the hands of whatever Roman general 
was able to command the most powerful army. It 
was mainly in the great Asiatic wars that such 
armies were disciplined, till Caesar in Oaul, by a 
series of conquests over its turbulent tribes, forged 
a weapon by means of which he became the master 
of Rome. 

Caesar proceeded to extend the citizenship from 
Italy to races beyond its borders. He even included 
Gauls in the Roman Senate, which was rapidly 
degraded to a body for registering the Imperial 
decrees. His policy in effect was so to extend the 
Roman republic as to make it include the whole 
Empire. The world was no more to be exploited for 
the sole benefit of the inhabitants of Rome or even of 
Italy, as it would have been if Rome had preserved 
her ' liberties ' on the old footing which the assassins 
of Caesar attempted to restore. This extension of 
the Roman franchise was steadily continued by 



of Roman 
to the 
the con- 
able, and 
led to 

By Caesar 

and his 





opened to 

all free 


of the 



CHAP. Caesar's successors. By Nero's time we find that a 
.^^^^^.^^^^^^ Levantine Jew had been able to bequeath the 
Boman citizenship to his son Saul. Eventually 
it was extended to all the subjects of the Empire 
other than slaves. ' It was/ as Bacon said, ' not the 
Bomans that spread upon the world ; but it was the 
world that spread upon the Bomans, and that was 
the sure way of greatness.' ^ 
Autocracy If the cxteusion of the Boman franchise to the 
bMame Italians had rendered impossible the election of 
iitemative oflSccrs and the ratification of laws by the citizens 
to anarchy, assembled in the Forum, much more was it so when 
Caesar extended it to races beyond the borders of 
Italy. The arbitrary restriction of citizenship to the 
inhabitants of Bome was contrary to the principle of 
the commonwealth. Its extension to all men equally 
fit for it, irrespective of locality, was a vindication of 
that principle. But it was a measure which precluded 
the method of direct legislation by the citizens ; and 
that, as we have seen, was the only method understood 
in the ancient world by which public opinion could 
be so formulated as to take effect as the principle 
of government. *In Italy,' says Freeman, *a 
representative system would have delivered Bome 
from the fearful choice which she had to make 
between anarchy and despotism.' ^ But it certainly 
would not have saved her from the choice when 
she undertook to order an empire which included 
Spaniards, Gauls, Britons, Germans, Serbs, Greeks, 
Asiatics, and Africans, as well as Italians. We have 
only to imagine a parliament composed of the 
representatives of all these peoples, some of them 
barbarian, others half civilized, and none of them, save 
. the Bomans and Greeks, understanding the principles 
of respect for law and devotion to the commonwealth 

1 Bacon, Essay XXIX, 

' Freeman, History of Federal Oovemment, p. 52. 



on which the Republic was founded, to realize its 
impossibility. The only plan which had the least 
chance of working in practice was to concentrate in 
the hands of those who did understand those principles 
all the offices of the city-state and to back them with 
an army strong enough to enforce the general law 
against all the diverse races of which the Imperial-state 
was compounded. The function of force, as Mahan has 
well observed, is to give moral ideas time to take root. 
The habit of order could no more be acquired by all 
these jarring elements than it could by the numerous 
races of India, until they had been constrained for a 
period to the practice of it. Later on, after the 
backward peoples had grasped the principles of the 
commonwealth, it might have been possible, had the 
representative system been invented, to have ex- 
tended the responsibility for the maintenance of the 
Empire to an ever-widening circle of citizens until in 
the end it became once more a republic. The genius 
of Rome did not rise to the level of its opportunity. 
It preferred to concentrate the sovereignty on the 
shoulders of one man, and to clothe him with a 
divine authority entitling him to the unquestioning 
obedience of his subjects. The rule of the Caesars, 
however, had one merit. They employed the 
force embodied in the armies whose generals they 
were, to create an order which, because it was 
systematic, was capable in ages to come of being 
established on a basis other than despotism. 

For Rome, she alone in her victories, has clasped to her bosom 

her foes, 
She has suckled mankind as her children, and the title to rule 

that she shows 
Is the right of a mother, not mistress. The far-off peoples she 

With fetters of love she shackled, and not subjects but citizens 



> Olaudian, Dt aeewndo cantulatu SHlichcnU, v. 150-158. 


CHAP. So sftDg of Rome in the Soman tongue an Egyptian 
poet. Stilicho, the subject of this poem, whose 
prowess and fidelity had staved off the ruin of the 
Empire, was himself a Vandal by race. 
The What the Roman Empire accomplished will be 

1^^ better understood if we compare the condition of 
TObrti. Europe before and after it. Throughout the period 
oiKantzft- when miniature states were blossommg on the snores 
sute^for * <>f Greece and Italy the rest of Europe was inhabited 
thrtribai ^y people who had not emerged from a tribal state 
mtem in of socicty. They had attained no such civilization 
as had long existed throughout the greater part of 
Asia for thousands of years. In one century Rome 
schooled the inhabitants of Southern Europe to the 
conditions of a state far in advance of any that Asia 
had produced. And before she fell she had made 
statehood a social habit of the whole continent. The 
importance of this will be better realized when at a 
later jBtage of this inquiry we come to examine one 
remote corner of Europe where the sword of Rome 
was never felt. Ireland was never freed from the 
habits of tribalism by Roman rule. She retained 
them to fester like an organ whose uses have long 
been outgrown, — an abscess torturing Ireland herself 
and sending its poison throughout the Commonwealth. 
In a word, Caesar and his successors never com- 
mitted the fundamental mistake of creating a sham 
Despotic Now that the citizens of Rome had grown too 

of *he ^'^ numerous to legislate for themselves resort was had 
Empire to the theorv that the Emperor held their power of 

revealed . 

byitsim- attomcy. Their legislative and executive authority 
were concentrated in him. This was the theory, but 
in reality the Emperor was an autocrat. And even 

principles, bcforc the dcspotic character of the Empire was 
admitted in the West, the Asiatic provinces hastened 
to invest Augustus with the halo of divinity. ^ * The 

to theo- 



Asiatic towns were not content to adore the president 
of the Latin republic : they wished to advertise their 
devotion in every direction, as though to urge other 
nations to sanctify their subjugation by making their 
subservience a religious duty. Thus the sceptical 
politician of a decadent republic, the grandson of a 
money-lender, was adored as the equal of Zeus, of 
Ares, and of Hera, and this in Asia Minor.' ^ Even 
in the coast districts, as this historian goes on to 
point out, the Greek communities were already deeply 
tinged with Oriental ideas. In the interior ' were 
none but barbarous and hardy races, made to endure 
the domination of men, and gods in every form, in- 
capable of independent action, ready for slavery, for 
military service, for obedience to their sovereigns, 
their priests and their gods. The mental habits of 
these races excluded all possibility of political under- 
stasiding or intellectual culture, and chiefly consisted 
in a rude and violent mysticism, stimulated by two 
vast religions, monotonous ba the plateau which their 
votaries inhabited — :two of those mystical and vague 
cosmopolitan religions which crush the minds of men 
beneath the weight of infinity and have contributed 
at every age to form mixed races and prepare them 
for slavery. The younger of these worships was the 
cult of Mithras, which the Persian power had intro- 
duced and spread t>ver the plateau of Asia Minor. It 
was an austere worship, formed by a fusion of primi- 
tive Mazdeism with the Semitic doctrines of Babylon, 
in which Mithras was worshipped as Justice and as 
the Sun, the sublime and almost inaccessible source 
of life and virtue. It was a worship which professed 
to lead feeble humanity to this inaccessible source 
by a host of ritual ceremonies and obscure symbols. 
The kings were regarded as human incarnations of 
this principle, and the monarchy as the poor but 


^ Ferrero, The Chreatnesa and Dedine of Eome, voL v. p. 12. 



CHAP, venerable image of the divine.' ^ But how easily the 
^^^^^.^^^^^ West yielded to theocratic ideas may be seen from 
the literature of the Augustan age. Virgil and 
Horace were content to deify Caesar and Augustus in 
their poems, even while Augustus, with whom they 
were intimately acquainted, was moving in Roman 
Greek Subsequent emperors graduaUy dispensed with 

pubUcan the republican disguise with which Augustus had 
J^*^^ studiously veiled the system he founded. But the 
the Imperial despotism waa accepted by a world per- 

mfluence mcatcd by Greek culture which yearned for the 
Imperial Comparative repose it secured for them. And that 
^der'*^^' culture, penetrating to the furthest limits of the 
which Empire, rescued Europe from the petrefaction which 
§^/ed. despotism had brought upon Asia. Roman law never 
became a sacred code like the Koran, never quite lost 
the tradition of its republican origin or the capacity 
for adaptation which the principle of the common- 
wealth imparts. The general extension of civic rights 
throughout the IJmpire had carried with it the law 
which governed the relations of Roman citizens to 
one another. In the process of diffusion the law 
itself was developed and elaborated. The pacifica- 
tion and opening up of the communities surrounding 
the Mediterranean promoted commerce and industry 
on a scale before unknown to the world, and the 
legal system of Rome kept pace with its growth. 
That the Imperial courts were able to develop rules 
of law suited to the changing conditions of business 
instead of cramping business to fit the ancient and 
customary rules, as an Asiatic power would have 
done, was largely due to the liberating influence of 
the Greek ideas which vitalized the Roman world. 
But it was the genius of Rome which systematized 

^ Ferrero, The Oreatnesa amd Decline of Rome^ vol. v. p. 16. 
^ See Note A at end of this chapter, p. 80. 



the dictates of common sense into a code of rules^ 
and made them generally applicable throughout the 
Empire. Unlike the codified customs of Asia the 
Boman Law never lost the power of adapting itself 
to the changing needs of society. It was something, 
too, that it retained in some of its forms the re- 
publican tradition that law is ultimately based on the 
will of the people.^ Though the Romans spoke of their 
emperor as divine, the laws he made or codified were 
never regarded, like Eastern systems, as too sacred to 
change. Whatever good was done by the Bom an 
Empire for future generations was accomplished in 
80 far as it preserved the principle of a commonwealth. 
But in so far as it developed into a despotism it 
destroyed the spirit from which alone the state, as 
understood by the Greeks, can derive its vitality. 
In losing the character of a commonwealth it failed 
to cultivate the spontaneous enthusiasm of ordinary 
citizens. * The real evil was a moral evil, the decay 
of civic virtue. . . . Unless (the Boman provincial) 
could enter the privileged ranks of the army or the 
higher civil service, he had no opportunities of study- 
ing, still less of helping to decide, the questions of 
policy and administration with which his welfare was 
closely though indirectly Unked.'* He was not 
enlisted in the cause of government, taught by 
experience to exercise it, and identified with its 
mission. Government relied increasingly on con- 
centrated force, and the ordinary citizen learned to 
regard the state as an enemy instead of a friend. It 
failed, in a word, to foster patriotism. As men grew 
to think less and less of the interests of the state 
they grew, to think more and more of their own, and 
to put them first. The root of the temporal no less 
than of the spiritual commonwealth is within men. 



^ See Kote B at end of this chapter, p. 82. 
* Dayis, Mediaeval Ewrope, pp. 18*19. 




Forces set 
in motion 
from Asia 
the de- 
of the 

of the 
capital to 
in the 
of the 


of the 
by the 
schism of 
the Greek 
and Latin 

and as the citizens of Rome lost the habit of sub- 
ordinating their own interest to that of the state, so 
did the state lose its character of a commonwealth, 
seek to found its authority on supernatural sanctions, 
and to enforce that authority with the lash, the 
halter, and the sword. 

Visible decay at the extremities revealed the 
disease which was silently sapping the vitality of the 
Roman state. No longer proof against the forces of 
chaos which surrounded it, a disintegration of the 
frontiers set in. The inroads of barbarians and 
Orientals ate deeper and deeper, until at length they 
reached the vital organs themselves and the Roman 
Empire perished. It collapsed beneath the pressure 
of attacks on its Northern and Eastern frontiers set in 
motion by disturbances in the distant regions of Asia.^ 

As the Roman power declined it became increase 
ingly difficult to hold the Eastern frontiers of the 
state, and in 330 A.D. Constantine moved the seat of 
Government to Byzantium, which was known hence- 
forth as Constantinople. There he erected a fortress 
to guard the narrow straits which divide Southern 
Europe from Asia Minor. The capital of the Empire 
was thus removed from the centre of the Latin to the 
centre of the Greek section of Europe. 

Constantine, however, effected a change of even 
greats importance by abolishing paganism and 
adopting Christianity as the religion of the state. 
For the Church this official recognition involved the 
most serious consequences, for presently it became 
impossible to hold the Western or Latin half of the 
Empire, which split off, and was governed by separate 
Emperors from Rome. The division of the Empire 
thus led to the division of the Church between the 
Greek and the Latin worlds. 

North of the Western Empire lay the vast shifting 

^ Gibbon, Decline and Fall of the Roman Errqnre, chap. xxti. 


masses of Teutonic tribes, still in the condition of chap. 
barbarism from which the Greeks and Romans had ^^^^^^^^^^^ 
emerged some thousand years before. As the Empire Destruc- 
decayed these tribes overran Britain, Gaul and Spain, WMtorn^* 
crossed the Straits of Gibraltar, and established Empire by 

' GermaDB. 

themselves in the north of Africa. Eventually they Rise of the 
occupied Italy itself In 476 Odoacer, at the head of p^wer. 
German troops who had served as Roman mercenaries, 
dethroned the Emperor Romulus Augustulus, and the 
Western Empire came to an end. Various Germanic 
kingdoms were established upon its ruins, but for the 
purpose of this inquiry it will suffice to note that 
of the Franks, which developed in the north of Gaul. 
This name, importing * freedom,' had been applied by 
the Romans to the Germanic tribes who inhabited the 
banks of the Rhine. Towards the close of the fifth 
century the Frankish king, Clovis, who became an 
orthodox Christian, consoUdated beneath his rule a 
kingdom which by 507 included the whole of Gaul. 
In this way it happened that the name of a 
German people was imposed upon a race which was 
mainly Celtic, and Gaul was known henceforward as 
France. The successors of Clovis, who were called 
the Merovings, did not inherit his ability. They 
degenerated into puppet kings who were content to 
leave the royal authority in the hands of officials styled 
the Mayors of the Palace. In 7 1 9 this office was held 
by a powerful military leader called Charles Martel. 

On this German noble was imposed the task of The rise of 
averting the greatest danger which had threatened reHgiin™'° 
Europe since Themistocles defeated the Persians at ?nd state 

* . in Arabia. 

Salamis. To understand how this befell it is necessary 
to go back to events which had happened a century 
before in a distant comer of Asia. Christianity, 
though itself the product of the Semitic race, found 
in Asia but little congenial soil in which to take root. 
Some six centuries after its foundation there appeared 


CHAP, in Arabia, amongst another branch of the same race, 
a religion which was destined to awake the fiercest 
enthusiasm of the East. The creed preached by 
Mahomet was a pure monotheism, and as such was 
a great advance upon the paganism it replaced. So 
intense was its recognition of the transcending power 
of God that all human creatures seemed to be reduced 
to a common level of insignificance before him. 
There is no room in the religion of Mahomet for the 
Hindu system of caste ^ and it acts wherever it goes 
as a levelling force. The development of elaborate 
rituals, with which the institution of caste is con- 
nected^ is at variance with its central idea. Its 
moral code has more in common with the doctrines of 
Moses than those of Christ, for Mahomet sanctioned 
a restricted polygamy, and women were accorded a 
position much lower than that claimed for them by 
Christianity. On the other hand, Mahomet forbade 
his followers to use wine. He differed, moreover, 
from Moses in the stress he laid on a future life, 
though the rewards and punishments held out to the 
faithful in this world and the next were much less 
spiritual than those promised by the Christian 
religion. He adopted the ten commandments, but 
the only ceremonial prescribed was prayer, fasting, 
alms, pilgrimage, washing. When a holy war was 
proclaimed, fighting was regarded as a religious duty. 
God is presented as a king rather than as a father, 
a *king to whose service the faithful are absolutely 
dedicated, and who rewards those who die in it with 
delights which appeal to the sensuous imagination. 
Death on the battle-field is, according to Mahomet, 
followed by the immediate translation of the believer 
to Paradise. Abraham, Moses, and Jesus were each 

^ AmoDgst the Moslems of India converted from Hinduism caste divisiona 
have in some measure survived. Such divisions are none the less contiary 
to the spirit of Islam. 


recognized as Prophets, but Mahomet claimed to have chap. 
superseded them all, and after his death his authority ^ 
was handed on to successors. * Islam,' the name 
attached to this creed, connotes an absolute dedication 
to the will of God, and * Moslem ' denotes a person so 
dedicated. Mahomet, as the sole interpreter of the 
divine will, was able to claim the unlimited obedience 
of those who accepted him as such. Islam was there- 
fore a state as well as a religion. It was, in fact, 
a theocracy whose doctrines were to be propagated 
by the sword, and the armies of Mahomet and his 
successors quickly became the masters of South- 
western Asia. 

The Byzantine Empire, based upon the tremendous Arab 
fortress which Constantine had founded on the to^X^^ 
Bosphorus, guarded the eastern gate of Europe, ©pntreof 
But the armies of Islam, quickly conquering the Thepos- 
Levant and Egypt, swept along the northern coast sequen^s 
of Africa as far as the Straits of Gibraltar. In 711 ^l^^l^ 
they crossed to Spain and overthrew Roderic, the extension. 
King of the Visigoths. Within ten years the soldiers 
of the Caliph had mastered Spain, and began to 
turn their attention to France. By 732 they had 
overrun Aquitaine under the leadership of their 
Emir, Abderrahman, and in October of that year 
their hosts were confronting the Franks under Charles 
Martel before the walls of Poitiers. 'A victorious 
line of march had been prolonged above a thousand 
miles from the rock of Gibraltar to the banks of the 
Loire ; the repetition of an equal space would have 
carried the Saracens to the confines of Poland and 
the Highlands .of Scotland ; the Rhine is not more 
impassable than the Nile or Euphrates, and the 
Arabian fleet might have sailed without a naval 
combat into the mouth of the Thames. Perhaps 
the interpretation of the Koran would now be taught 
in the schools of Oxford, and her pulpits might 




Defeat of 
the Arabs 
by the 
Martel at 
the battle 
of Poitiers, 
Oct 782. 

Pepin, son 
of Charles 
King of 
the Franks 
by the 
of the 

demonstrate to a circumcised people the sanctity 
and truth of the revelation of Mahomet,' * 

But as at Marathon the tide of Oriental invasion 
was stayed by the armoured ranks of the Europeans. 
For seven days each army waited for the other to 
move; but on the eighth the Arabs attacked, and 
dashed themselves in vain against the close -locked 
lines of Frankish shields which withstood their onset 
' like a wall of ice/ Hurled back in disorder, their 
broken ranks were borne down by the sheer weight 
and strength of the advancing Franks. Both armies 
encamped on the field ; but next morning the Arabs 
fled, and Charles Martel, who had rolled back this 
scorching tempest from the deserts of Arabia beyond 
the Pyrenees, was recognized as the saviour of 
Christendom. His successors came to be regarded 
as the champions of the Roman Church. 

When the last of the Western Emperors was 
dethroned in 476, the Bishop of Rome, as head of 
the Latin Church, very quickly began to realize how 
great was his need of some arm strong enough 
to protect the Church in an age of increasing 
violence. The Frankish mayors of the palace had 
the strongest arm in Europe, and Pope Zacharias 
undertook to give the sanction of divine authority 
to the transfer of the crown from the head of the 
Meroving Childeric to that of Pepin, the son of 
Charles Martel. With his queen Bertrada he was 
solemnly anointed by Boniface at Soissons in 751. 
Amongst the Christians of the East, kings had long 
been accustomed to receive their crowns from bishops. 
It had also been so with the kings of the Visigoths, 
but never with the Merovings. But anointing after 
the old Jewish fashion was quite new to Christendom. 
The next Pope, moreover, Stephen II., went a step 
further, and undertook to absolve Pepin from the 

} Gibbon, pecline and Fall of the Roman Empire, vol. tu. pp. 18-19. 


oath he had sworn to the deposed Childeric.^ The chap. 
Carlovingian dynasty was thus represented to Europe ^^^,^^„^^ 
as deriving its authority from divine right after the 
manner of Oriental monarchs. 

The enemy against whom the Papacy at first The 
required a champion was the Byzantine Emperor K^nga**^ 
who had reconquered Italy some time before and still J^^°^cU^i^ 
clung to the fortress of Ravenna. From this strong- protectors 
hold the Empire was ejected by Aistulf, King of the western 
Lombards, who proceeded, however, to deprive the Pope "^ ' 
himself of his temporal dominions. Pope Stephen 11. 
therefore appealed to Pepin, who broke the Lombard 
power, and restored and extended the sovereignty of the 
Pope over the territories in the neighbourhood of Rome. 

Pepin's son, Charles the Great, known to the Charles 
French as Charlemagne, consolidated practically the Pepin's* * 
whole of the Teutonic tribes outside Britain under ^JV,,^^d 
his rule. By force of arms his Empire was extended Western 

1 1 XT 1 11 T Europe 

to mclude Hungary on the east, and to the south- in one 
west France and Spain, which he conquered from hu^covo- 
the Arabs as far as the Ebro. Italy he dominated V^,^^" J^^ 
in the interests of the Pope. By 800 his Empire of the 


included all the territory which had once been com- iusoo. 
prised in the Western Empire, and the whole of 
Germany as well. On Christmas Day 800, Charles 
the Great was crowned * Emperor of the Romans' 
by Pope lieo IIL, in St. Peter's basilica at Rome. 

So began the Holy Roman Empire, which in one The 
form or another endured for more than a thousand Enlpir^ 
years until it was extinguished by Napoleon in 1806. ^^^^ , 

•^ o J IT ^ created 

Its creation in 800 was directly due to the tradition the i<iea of 
of a world state which the real Roman Empire had state. 
left behind. Greece had divided one comer of Europe 
into hundreds of miniature states. Rome had gone 
to the opposite extreme, and collected a great part of 
Europe with the adjacent parts of Asia and Africa 

» C. R. L. Fletcher, The Making of Western Europe, pp. 226-227. 


CHAP, into one state, which seemed to its citizens to be 
coterminous with the world itself. From the 
accession of the Emperor Nerva in 96 A.D., Rome 
had for nearly a century maintained such a condition 
of repose as civilized Europe has never before or 
since enjoyed. It established, moreover, a tradition 
of just and orderly government which, through all the 
centuries of violence that followed its faU, the people of 
Europe never forgot. The Greeks had been unable to 
conceive a state larger than the walls of one city could 
hold. The Roman Empire impressed Europe with 
the idea that there should, by rights, be one universal 
state which should include the whole human race. 
The con- Throughout the centuries of political chaos which 

rworir^ followed the downfall of the Western Empire, the 
fMterwi Church helped to remind Europe of the 'unity which 
by Chris- Rome had once given her. This cosmic conception of 
^*"*^' the state received a decided impetus from Christian 
morality which enjoined on the individual an absolute 
subordination of his own interests, not to fBimily^ 
friends, or race, but to all mankind. The Kingdom 
of Heaven was a spiritual commonwealth which 
included the living as well as the dead, and the 
recognition of its infinite claim to the obedience of 
its members was exemplified in the life and death 
of the Founder Himself A& the subjects of the 
Roman Empire came to imbibe these doctrines they 
coloured them by their own political conceptions. 
They thought of the Empire as that province of 
the Kingdom of Heaven which contained the living 
portion of mankind, of the Emperor as its divinely 
appointed administrator on earth, and of the in- 
dividual as the subject bound to accord to Imperial 
sovereignty the unquestioning obedience which was 
due from man to God Himself.^ This deeply rooted 
belief in a universal and divinely ordered State 

^ See Note C at end of this chapter, p. 83 


survived the division of both Empire and Church, ohap. 
and even imposed itself upon the Teutonic barbarians 
who destroyed the Western Empire. Its disappear^ 
ance in 476 fostered the idea of the Church as a 
spiritual state ; but the Papacy quickly felt the want 
of some secular arm to enforce its mandates and to 
protect the Church against rebellion from within as 
well as the assaults of paganism from without. It 
required an Emperor as well as a Pope to secure the 
obedience of kings and rulers as well as their subjects 
to papal decrees. Laity and clergy alike began to ask 
why the Empire should not be irevived in the person 
of the most powerful ruler that Europe had produced 
since the age of Constantine, and the coronation of 
Charles by the Pope in 800 was the natural result. 

The force behind the new system was the Teutonic The power 
people which had destroyed the Western Empire Hoiy"^'^" 
and had then saved Europe from the Arab invasion. S^™?'^ 

*^ Empire 

When first these races threatened Rome, they were was 
living after the manner of tribal societies in a instability 
perpetual state of warfare and flux, the one constantly gJc?e^ty?*" 
merging into the other. They were, as Stubbs Their free 
describes them, 'singularly capable of entering into described 
new combinations ; singularly liable to be united ^ 
and dissolved in short-lived confederations.' * On 
the other hand, amongst these tribes were pre- 
served the same primitive customs as existed amongst 
the progenitors of the Greeks when they branched 
southwards and settled in the peninsula which bears 
their name. Tacitus, in his account of the Germans, 
fcella how 'their love of Uberty makes them inde- 
pendent to a fault : they do not assemble all at 
once as though they were under orders: but two 
or three days are wasted by their delay in arriving. 
They take their seats as they come, all in full armour. 
Silence is demanded by the priests, to whom are 

' Stabbs, ConstUiUUmal History, p. S6. 




Failare of 
the Holy 
Empire to 

as a state, 
and con- 
of the 
to develop 

of the 
in their 

granted special powers of coercion. Next, the king, 
or one of the chief men, according to claims of 
age, lineage, or military glory, receives a hearing, 
which he obtains more by the power of persuasion 
than by any right of command. If the opinion ex- 
pressed displeases them, their murmurs reject it; if 
they approve they clash their spears. Such applause 
is considered the most honourable form of assent.' ^ 

In customs such as these may be discerned the 
seed from which the commonwealths of Europe have 
sprung. Mountains and seas combined to divide 
Greek society into a number of small neighbourhoods, 
and kept them from merging into one another, so 
that each developed a corporate sense of its own. 
But the home of the Teutonic race in the forests of 
Northern Europe was not so divided into pockets 
where small societies could collect, solidify, and 
develop the esprit de corps which is the necessary 
basis of the organic state. In the absence of 
physical frontiers the only bond by which these 
tribes could be united in a state was race, not locality ; 
and until the tribal organization had yielded to that 
of the state it was impossible that the principle of 
the commonwealth should begin to develop. It was 
in this that the German Emperors signally failed. 
Several of Charles's successors were powerful rulers, 
and had their energies been confined to organizing 
Germany, they would have created a state capable 
of commanding not only the obedience but also the 
loyalty of the German people. Order would have 
been established, and the free Teutonic spirit as in 
England would have developed the monarchy into 
a commonwealth in which sovereignty was based 
on the popular will. Once accustomed to obey a 
German government the Teutonic tribes would have 
become a German nation. 

^ lis. Oemiaiiia, ti*ans. W. H. Fyfe, p. 96. 


As it was, the successors of Charles, lured by the chap. 

glamour of this adopted title, exhausted their energies .^^^^^^^^^ 

in endeavouring to realize their position as Emperors chaos 

of Rome by the conquest of Italy. In Germany fTOm\hf 

itself a condition of disorder was allowed to continue, Jj*j|^\|jg 

until the weak were driven to barter their freedom govem- 

to the strong in exchange for protection. The feudal . the Holy 

system which Germany now developed was nothing |^*° 


more nor less than the attempt of a society which oj^coi^- 

*^ "f tract or 

had failed to organize itself as a state to make feudalism. 
contract do the work of patriotism. The Emperors 
themselves accepted the principle, distributing their 
sovereignty amongst their princes and nobles in 
exchange for support in their Italian wars. The 
result was that the rank and file served as the 
retainers of the feudal potentate, not as the subjects 
of the Emperor. While the attention of the 
Emperor was absorbed in Italy, the feudal lords 
were the de facto governments of their respective 
principalities in Germany, and the Emperor never 
established a direct relation of sovereignty with 
the German people themselves. As Emperor he 
never attained the right to tax the people direct. 
It was to the local prince that they paid their 
taxes and looked for orders. It was him they followed 
when he chose to disobey the orders of the Emperor. 
Against the disobedience of a prince the only remedy 
of the Emperor was war. In taking sides for or 
against the Emperor the other princes were guided 
by their own interests, and not by those of the 
Empire, still less by the interests of Christendom or 
mankind. The Grerman monarchs, in masquerading 
as the Emperors of humanity, were diverted from 
establishing a government for the German people. 
The Holy Roman Empire was not even a fiction. It 
was a sham which actually deceived men and hid 
from their eyes the less pretentious but more valuable 


CHAP, reality which might have been achieved. In theory, 
the Emperor was the temporal Vicegerent of God, 
the King of Bangs, from whose authority the princes 
of Europe derived their own. In practice, many of 
these princes, like those of England (Richard I. was 
an unwilling exception), repudiated his authority. 
Those who acknowledged it persistently disregarded 
it whenever they saw a chance of aggrandizing them- 
selves at the expense of their neighbours ; and the 
Emperor had no means of enforcing it, except those 
he controlled by virtue of his own inherited posses- 
sions. His election as Emperor added nothing to the 
actual power he already possessed as an hereditary 
prince. His authority, therefore, was similar to that 
of a foreman who secures obedience from the members 
of his gang only so far as he is able to coerce them 
with his own fiats, a system which makes for peace 
only when the foreman is a person of gigantic strength. 
When the practice was established amongst the 
German princes of electing the Emperor, the electors 
were careful to avoid the choice of a sovereign strong 
enough to coerce them. Society was supposed to be 
constructed in accordance with a lofty conception 
which had grown fix)m the habit of idealizing the 
Roman Empire. The Emperors of the Middle Ages 
accepted the style and functions of Empire without 
the Imperium. They were given the right to com- 
mand all men without the actual power to enforce 
obedience. In practice they did little to cure the 
intestine disorders of Europe and nothing to defend it 
from the encroachments of Asia. That all-important 
task was left to the Eastern remnant of the real 
Roman Empire, which guarded the Bosphorus till the 
close of the Middle Ages. German sovereigns who 
claimed to be the champions of European civilization 
were unable to marshal one soldier to save from 
the Turk the very countries in which it had been 


cradled In the Balkan Peninsula centuries of misery chap. 

have commemorated the failure of the Holy Eoman .,^.„.,^^„^^ 
Empire to justify the title and traditions it assumed. 

After the fall of the Roman Empire the Teutonic Hence the 

races who had destroyed it were the strongest element were ule 

of European society. If Charles and his successors I'^^^^f 

had confined themselves to the task of consolidating ^^ ^^^ 

1 • 1 • ^ r^ 1 J European 

their own people into a state, the Germans would race to 
have been the first people to realize nationality in the uaVonai ^ 
modem sense of the term. As it was, they were the J^^*®' *"*^ 
last, and the penalty they paid for this failure was a ^^*^f J^^ 
thousand years of fratricidal strife in which Europe at ccnvuised 
large was repeatedly involved. Till the time of Luther * "'^^^^ 
it would be difficult to point to any period in which 
German armies were not fighting each other on 
German soil. In the seventeenth century Germany 
was devastated by the Thirty Years' War. In the 
eighteenth century the German States were involved in 
the quarrels of Austria and Prussia. At the beginning 
of the nineteenth century Germany was trampled 
under foot by Napoleonic armies largely reinforced by 
German troops. In the struggle between Austria and 
Prussia of 1866 the States of Northern Germany were 
at war with those of the South. Had Charles the Great 
and his successors united Germany as the Norman and 
Plantagenet kings united England, it is not too much 
to say that most of the wars which have since dis- 
tracted not only Germany but Europe itself might 
never have been fought. Up to the year 1870, the 
Germans might still have been described in the words 
applied by Stubbs to their primitive ancestors as being 
* singularly capable of entering into new combina* 
tions : singularly liable to be united and dissolved in 
short-lived confederations.' And the process was one 
of incessant violence, which was constantly spreading 
to the whole continent of Europe.* 

* Bryce, Th€ Holy Rortum Empire, chap. xx. 


CHAP. In the course of ages of violence the rudimentary 

^^^^^^^^^^^ institutions of freedom, to which Tacitus bears 
Miiiury evidence, were for the most part extinguished by 
ven^tecUhe *^® neccssitics of military rule. ' The Diet, originally 
orthe^^^ an assembly of the whole people, and thereafter of 
common- the feudal tenants -in -chief, meeting from time to 
from time like our early English Parliaments, became in 

developing. ^^ jgg^ ^ permanent body, at which the electors, 

princes, and cities were represented by their envoys. 
In other words, it was not so much a national Parlia- 
ment as an international congress of diplomatists. 
Where the sacrifice of imperial, or rather federal, 
rights to state rights was so complete, we may 
wonder that the farce of an Empire should have been 
retained at all. A mere German Empire would 
probably have perished; but the Teutonic people 
could not bring itself to abandon the venerable 
heritage of Rome.' ^ Except in some isolated cities 
personal authority backed by force was the only 
kind of government which counted. And, as usual 
with despotic governments, a supernatural baais 
was claimed for its authority. The idea of the 
commonwealth atrophied ; and if it has flourished on 
the continent of Europe for the last century, it is 
rather as a growth transplanted from England than 
as one indigenous to the soil itself. 'Throughout 
Europe reformers have copied English political 
arrangements.' ^ But in spite of this imitation and of 
real progress made by the nations of continental 
Europe in remodelling their institutions on the prin- 
ciple of the commonwealth, the theocratic conception 
of government survives to an extent hardly realized 
by the people of the British Empire or by those of 
its product, the United States of America.^ Belief in 

^ Bryce, The Holy Roman Empire^ chap. xx. pp. 391-392. 
'^ Woodrow Wilson, The State, p. 435. 
' See Note I) at end of this chapter, p. 84. 


force as the ultimate basis of government is the natural chap. 
consequence of the protracted violence into which ,^^^^ 
Europe was plunged by the failure of Grermany till 
1870 to realize for herself the unity of a state. 
Throughout the continent of Europe from the down- 
fall of the Roman Empire there was no period during 
which order was maintained long enough to create the 
tradition that the law is above the visible ruler and 
more entitled than him to the ultimate obedience of 
the citizen. The upshot has been that, with the 
partial exception of Switzerland and Holland, the 
principle of the commonwealth failed to re-establish 
itself on the continent of Europe with sufficient 
strength to counteract the theocratic and despotic 
tradition of government which the Eoman Empire 
left behind it. The ideas of government which pre- 
vailed in Germany to the first decades of the nineteenth 
century were, no less than those of the Latin peoples, 
inherited from Rome. The shade of that vanished 
Empire rose from its grave to haunt its destroyers. 
Hovering before their eyes, this phantom beguiled 
them into the morass of Italian politics at the outset 
of their march towards Grerman union and freedom. 
From the one sure path their footsteps strayed, never 
to refind it for a thousand years. 

Voltaire uttered the epitaph of this mighty sham states 
when he wrote that it was neither Holy, nor Roman, §^eioped 
nor yet an Empire. It is the greatest example ^^^hr^ 
which history offers of the mischief done by false basis of 
coin, of the frightful power of vain deceits to lead 
men to their own undoing. Civilization was only 
saved for the world by the gradual development, in 
spite of it, of a system of society less ambitious, but 
more firmly founded even than the original Empire 
itself The Roman Empire at its prime had enforced 
Older, eain^d the respect and even the gratitude of its 
^tjibjects, 39it it was too large and too comprehensive 


CHAP, to wake the spirit of patriotism which the Athenians 
at Marathon, the Spartans at Thermopylae, or the 
Romans themselves, had shown. Still less was a revival 
so vague and feeble as the Holy Roman Empire calcu- 
lated to arouse this kind of enthusiasm. The command 
of the elected Emperor of Christendom left men cold 
who would spring to arms at the call of a chief or 
a prince who really meted out some kind of justice 
amongst themselves, especially if he were of their 
own blood and was felt to personify their common 
kinship with one another. Gradually, different tribes 
in England, France and Spain were consolidated into 
kingdoms much larger than the city states of the 
ancient world, which yet evoked from their citizens 
the same kind of spontaneous patriotism. The Holy 
Roman Empire appealed to ideas which had not pene- 
trated to the heart and rooted themselves in the habits 
of ordinary men. Government, to be stable, must be 
founded not only on respect, but on the affection and 
enthusiasm of the people themselves. If men could 
not be brought in masses to dedicate their lives to 
mankind, it was an immense step that they should be 
willing to lay them down for so limited a section 
of the race as England, France, or Spain contained. 
Appear- Whilst, therefore, the organs of universal govern - 

Franro, mcut wcrc atrophied for want of exercise, the peoples 
of Europe were gathering into units of government 
according to neighbourhood and race. France, with 
its population still mainly Celtic, emerged as a separate 
kingdom in 843. Under a succession of powerful 
monarchs the French rapidly acquired a national 
consciousness of their own, which was greatly stimu- 
lated by the leading part which they took in the 
Crusades against the Saracens. From the w^elter 
of Christian and Moorish kingdoms in the Iberian 
Portugal, Peninsula the Portuguese nation emerges in the 
Spain, twelfth ceutury and the Spanish in the fifteenth. 


In all three fragments of the Roman Empire the 
traditions of despotic government were preserved 
intact. Italy, where the position of the Pope 1^1^^ 
was an insuperable bar to the establishment of a 
national monarchy or unity of any kind, remained 
under the nominal suzerainty of the German Emperor, 
a patchwork of princedoms and republics. In the 
valleys of the Alps, commonwealths were formed, gwitzer- 
which ultimately succeeded where the Greeks had ^*"^» 
failed, in uniting aa a federal state. By their long 
and heroic struggle with Spain the Teutonic cities 
which grew up at the mouth of the Rhine were 
united by the genius of William the Silent as the The 
Dutch Republic in the sixteenth century. But even lands^' 
these commonwealths were deeply embued with the 
law and traditions of the Roman Empire. 

Meantime, in the islands on the western coast of Reappear- 
Europe, which certain of the Teutonic tribes had p?^cipie ^ 
partly conquered and occupied, was appearing the common, 
state which forms the subject of this inquiry. It J®*'^'^*^ 
was there, and not in Romanized Germany itself, 
that the Teutonic tradition of freedom was able to 
take root, and reproduce once more the principle of 
government which had first blossomed in Greece and 
almost vanished in the Roman Empire. In England 
was planted a commonwealth destined to spread 
until it included races more numerous and diverse 
than ever obeyed Rome. 

In the foregoing chapter the principle of the Recapitu- 
commonwealth has been traced from ancient Greece ^^^^^' 
where the idea found its fullest expression in the 
republic of Athens. It is still further developed by 
the Roman Empire in the vertebrae given to European 
society by Roman law, even though liberty itself is 
gradually obscured by the reversion of the Empire to 
purely autocratic and military rule. Then, with the 
collapse of the Empire, it is lost for nearly a thousand 


CHAP, years in the death-struggles of the Roman system 
against the successive waves of barbarians from the 
North, which are partly repelled, and partly absorbed, 
by the powerful monarchies gradually founded in 
Spain, in France and in central Europe. But mean- 
while the idea of liberty, first realized in Greece and 
Rome, was sleeping, not dead. It still breathed — 
though under a great weight of established customs 
and forms— in the notions of law which the Hbly 
Roman Empire had inherited from its great proto- 
type. Gradually, as neither the separate autocracies 
nor the great European theocracy proved equal to 
human needs, it flickered to life in the communes 
which united to form the Swiss Confederacy and the 
commercial communities of northern Germany and 
the Netherlands. Then with the Reformation and 
the Renaissance it recovered its position in the fore- 
front of European ideals, and has been gradually 
extended, now by one community, now by another, 
but chiefly by the community founded in the dark 
ages by Teutonic invaders of the British Isles. 



See i)age - ' While to the educated classes in old Rome the Emperor's 
^'^' legal Sovereignty bore the guise of a devolution from that of the 

people, his provincial subjects, who knew little or nothing of 
these legal theories, regarded it as the direct and natural 
consequence of Conquest By the general, probably the universal, 
law of antiquity, capture in war made the captured person a 
slave de iure. Much more then does conquest carry the right of 
legal command. Conquest is the most direct and emphatic 
assertion of de facto supremacy, and as the de fado power of the 
Romans covered nearly the whole of the civilized world, main- 
tained itself without difficulty, and acted on fixed principles in 
a regular way, it speedily passed into Legal Right, a right not 
unwillingly recognized by those to whom Roman power meant 
Roman peace. This idea is happily expressed by Virgil in the 
line applied to Augustus : 


" Victorque volentes 
Per populoB dat iura/' 

while the suggestion of a divine power encircling the irresistible 
conqueror, an idea always familiar to the East, appears in the 
words : , 

'* viamqne adfectat Olympo/' 

which complete the passage. 

' The feeling that the power actually supreme has received 
divine sanction by being permitted to prevail, that it has thereby 
become rightful, and that it has, because it is rightful, a claim 
to obedience, is clearly put in writings which were destined, 
more than any others, to rule the minds of men for many 
centuries to come. 

* ** Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For 
there is no power but of ( = from) God : the powers that be are 
ordained of Gkxl. Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, 
resisteth the ordinance of God : and they that resist shall 
receive to themselves damnation {lU, judgment). For rulers are 
not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not 
be afraid of the power 1 Do that which is good, and thou shalt 
have praise of the same ; for he is the minister of God to thee 
for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid ; for he 
beareth not the sword in vain : for he is the minister of God, 
a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil " (Bom. 
xiii. 1-5). 

• " Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord's 
sake; whether it be to the Emperor, as supreme, or unto 
Governors, as unto them that are sent by him for the punish- 
ment of evildoers, and for the praise of them that do well. For 
8o is the will of God, that with well-doing ye may put to silence 
(W. bridle) the ignorance of foolish men" (1 Pet. ii. 13-15). 

' Here the authority of the Emperor is not only recognized 
as being de iure because it exists and is irresistible, but is 
deemed, because it exists, to have divine sanction, and thus a 
religious claim on the obedience of the Christian, while at the 
same time, in the reference to the fact that the power of the 
magistrate is exercised, and is given by God that it be exercised, 
for good, there is contained the germ of the doctrine that the 
Power may be disobeyed (? resisted) when he acts for evil ; as 
St. Peter himself is related to have said, " We ought to obey 
God rather than men " (Acts v. 29).' ^ 

* Biyee, Studies in History owid Jurisprudence^ vol. ii. pp. 78-79. 





See page < Justinian and his successors had in the fullest sense of the 

' word complete, unlimited, and exclusive legal sovereignty ; and 

the people of old Rome who are talked of in the Digest^ by the 
lawyers of the second and third centuries, as the source of the 
Emperor's powers, were not in A.D. 533, except in a vague de 
iure sense, actual subjects of Justinian, being in fact ruled by 
the Ostrogothic king Athalarich (grandson of the great Theo- 
dorich). But it is noteworthy that the lawyers also assigned to 
the people as a whole, entirely apart from any political organiza- 
tion in any assembly, the right of making law by creating and 
following a custom, together with that of repealing^a customary 
law by ceasing to observe it, i.e. by desuetude, and that they 
justify the existence of such a right by comparing it with that 
which the people exercise by voting in an assembly. "What 
difference," says Julian, writing under Hadrian, " does it make 
whether the people declares its will by voting or by its practice 
and acts, seeing that the laws themselves bind us only because 
they have been approved by the people ? " In the Institutes of 
Justinian the Emperor's legislative power, though complete, is 
still grounded on a delegation formerly made by the people. 

' It need hardly be observed that if Tribonian and the other 
commissioners employed by Justinian to condense and arrange 
the old law had, instead of inserting in their compilation sen- 
tences written three or four centuries before their time, taken it 
upon themselves to state the doctrine of legislative sovereignty 
as it existed in their own time, they would not have used the 
language of the old jurists, language which even in the time of 
those jurists represented theory rather than fact, just as Black- 
stone's language about the right of the Crown to " veto '* legis- 
lation in England represents the practice of a period that had 
ended sixty years before. But those who in the Middle Ages 
studied the texts of the Roman law cared little and knew less 
about Roman history, so that the republican doctrine of popular 
sovereignty which they found in the Digest may have had far more 
authority in their eyes than it had in those of the contemporaries 
of Tribonian, to whom it was merely a pretty antiquarian fiction. 

* These were the legal notions of Sovereignty with which the 
modern world started — the sharply outlined Sovereignty of an 
autocratic Emperor, and the shadowy, suspended, yet in a sense 
concurrent or at least resumable, Sovereignty of the People, 
expressed partly in the recognition of their right to delegate 
legislation to the monarch, partly in their continued exercise of 
legislation by Custom.' ^ 

* Bryce, Shidies in History aiid Jurisprudence, vol. ii. pp. 76-77. 


NOTE C ^^j^^- 


' In the earlier Middle Ages Europe, still half-barbarous, was See page 
the prey of violence. Its greatest need was Justice, and a 70. 
power strong enough and pious enough to execute justice as 
the minister of God. The one force that confronted violence 
and rapacity was Religion. All had one religion, and though 
many by sinfulness of life belied their faith, none doubted its 
truth. Neither did any one doubt where the seat of authority 
lay. Rome, whence the Caesars had ruled the world — Rome, 
where the chief of the Apostles had exercised the pastorate 
given him by God when God walked the earth — was the divinely 
appointed source of all lawful power. Whether that power was 
to be J wielded by two rulers, each directly representing the 
Almighty, or whether the secular monarch was to be the servant 
of the spiritual — this was a question on which men were divided. 
But that the power of the secular ruler was consecrated by a 
Divine commission, and, being so consecrated, was appointed 
for all time and for all mankind — upon this they were at one. 
It was a small Christian world, which reached only from the 
TaguB to the Vistula: so a universal monarchy seemed less 
strange then than it does now. Nations were as yet scarcely 
conqpious of themselves, and the strife that desolated Europe 
was more frequently within than between its countries. The 
disobedience of some rulers to the Emperor shook the theories 
of those who took dreams for realities hardly more than did 
the disobedience of a knot of heretics to the Pope.' ^ 

The idea of a universal monarchy ordained by Divine wisdom is 
reflected in a letter addressed by Petrarch to the Roman people. 

* When was there ever such peace, such tranquillity, such 
justice,- such honour paid to virtue, such rewards distributed to 
the good and punishments to the bad, when was ever the state 
so wisely guided, as in the time when the world had obtained 
one head, and that head Rome ; the very time wherein God 
deigned to be bom of a virgin and dwell upon earth. To every 
single body there has been given a head ; the whole world there- 
fore also, which is called by the poet a great body, ought to be 
content with one temporal head. For every two-headed animal 
is monstrous ; how much more horrible and hideous a portent 
must be a creature with a thousand different heads, biting and 
fighting against one another ! If, however, it is necessary that 
there be more heads than one, it is nevertheless evident that there 
ought to be one to restrain all and preside over all, that so the • 
peace of the whole body may abide unshaken. Assuredly both in 
heaven and in earth the sovereignty of one has always been best.' ^ 

* Bryce, Tlie Holy Homan Empire, p. 500. ^ Jll^l p, 266. 


^^P- NOTE D 


See page Lecky testifies to the hold which theocratic ideas still had on 

public opinion in England up to the close of the seventeenth 
century. ' The doctrine of non-resistance in its extreme form 
was taught in the Homilies of the Church, embodied in the oath 
of allegiance, in the corporation oath of Charles II., and in the 
declaration prescribed by the Act of Uniformity, enrolled by 
great Anglican casuists among the leading tenets of Christianity, 
and persistently enforced from the pulpit. It had become, as 
a later bishop truly said, " the distinguishing character of the 
Church of England." At a time when the Constitution was 
still luiformed, when every institution of freedom and every 
bulwark a^nst despotism was continually assailed, the authorized 
religious teachers of the nation were incessantly inculcating this 
doctrine, and it may probably be said without exaggeration that 
it occupied a more prominent position in the preaching and the 
literature of the Anglican Church than any other tenet in the 
whole compass of theology. Even Burnet and Tillotson, who 
* were men of unquestionable honesty, and who subsequently 
took a conspicuous part on the side of the Revolution, when 
attending Russell in his last hours, had impressed upon him in 
the strongest manner the duty of accepting the doctrine of .the 
absolute unlawfulness of resistance, and had clearly intimated 
that if he did not do so they could feel no confidence in his 
salvation. The clergy who attended Monmouth at his execution 
told him he could not belong to the Church of England unless 
he acknowledged it. The University of Cambridge in 1679, 
and the University of Oxford on the occasion of the death of 
Russell, authoritatively proclaimed it, and the latter university 
consigned the leading Whig writings in defence of freedom to 
the flames, and prohibited all students from reading them. The 
immense popularity which the miracle of the royal touch had 
acquired, indicated only too faithfully the blind and passionate 
loyalty of the time : nor was there any other period in English 
history in which the spirit of independence and the bias in favour 
of freedom which had long characterized the English people 
were so little shown as in the years that followed the Restoration. 
. . . Had the old dynasty adhered to the national faith, its 
position would have been impregnable, and in the existing dis- 
position of men's minds it was neither impossible nor improbable 
that the free institutions of England would have shared the fate 
. of those of Spain, of Italy, and of France. Most happily for the 
country, a bigoted Catholic, singularly destitute both of the tact 
and sagacity of a statesman, and of the qualities that win the 
affection of a people, mounted the throne, devoted all the 


energies of his nature and all the resources of his position to CHAP, 
extending the religion most hateful to his people, attacked with I 

a strange fatuity the very Church on whose teaching the 
monarchical enthusiasm mainly rested, and thus drove the most 
loyal of his subjects into violent opposition. . . . The doctrine 
of the indefeasible right of the legitimate sovereign, and of the 
absolute sinfulness of resistance, was in the eyes of the great 
majority of Englishmen the cardinal principle of political 
morality, and a blind, unqualified, unquestioning loyalty was 
the strongest and most natural form of political enthusiasm. 
This was the real danger to English liberty. Until this tone of 
thought and feeling was seriously modified, free institutions 
never could take root, and even after the intervention of William 
it was quite possible, and in the eyes of most Englishmen 
eminently desirable, that a Government should have been estab- 
lished so nearly legitimate as to receive the support of this 
enthusiasm — the consecration of this belief/ ^ 

In Prussia the belief in Divine right was as vigorous as ever 
in the first half of the nineteenth century. * To the nobles and 
peasants, criticism of, or opposition to, the Ring had in it some- 
thing of sacrilege ; the words " by the Grace of God " added to 
the royal title were more than an empty phrase. Society was 
still organized on the old patriarchal basis : at the bottom was 
the peasant; above him was the gnddiger Herr;^ above him, 
Unser allergnddigste Herr ^ the King, who lived in Berlin ; and 
above him, the Herr Gott^ in Heaven.** A German electorate 
when appealed to by the Crown has usually supported the 
monarch against their own representatives. This explains (what 
Englishmen find it so difficult to understand) why German 
legislatures have never, as in all communities of British origin, 
obtained control of the executive. 

The political creed of Bismarck had, as Mr. Headlam shows, 
its roots in theocratic ideas. ' It is not at first apparent what 
necessary connection there is between monarchical government 
and Christian faith. For Bismarck they were ever inseparably 
bound together ; nothing but religious belief would have recon- 
ciled him to a form of government so repugnant to natural 
human reason. " If I were not a Christian, I would be a 
Republican,'' he said many years later ; in Christianity he found 
the only support against revolution and socialism. He was not 
the man to be beguiled by romantic sentiment ; he was not a 
courtier to be blinded by the pomp and ceremony of royalty ; 
be was too stubborn and independent to acquiesce in the arbi- 
trary rule of a single man. He could only obey the king if the 
king himself held his authority as the representative of a higher 

^ Lecky, History of England in the Eighteenth Century , vol. i. pp. 10-14. 
^ Gracious Lord. ' Our all-Gracioui Lord the King. 

* Lord God. ' Headlam, Bismarekf p. 13. 


CHAP power. Bismarck was accustomed to follow out his thought to 
I its conclusions. To whom did the King owe his power 1 There 

was only one alternative : to the people or to God. If to the 
people, then it was a mere question of convenience whether the 
monarchy were continued in form ; there was little to choose 
between a constitutional monarchy where the king was appointed 
by the people and controlled by Parliament, and an avowed 
republic. This was the principle held by nearly all his con- 
temporaries. He deliberately rejected it He did not hold that 
the voice of the people was the voice of God. This belief did 
not satisfy his moral sense ; it seemed in public life to leave all 
to interest and ambition and nothing to duty. It did not 
satisfy his critical intellect ; the word " people " was to him a 
vague idea. The service of the people or of the King by the 
Grace of God, this was the struggle which was soon to be fought 
out' 1 

It is this conception of government which underlies a speech 
which Bismarck addressed to the Prussian Chamber in 1848. 
'The strife of principles which during this year has shattered 
Europe to its foundations is one in which no compromise is 
possible. They rest on opposite bases. The one draws its law 
from what is called the will of the people, in truth, however, 
from the law of the strongest on the barricades. The other 
rests on authority created by God, an authority by the grace of 
God, and seeks its development in organic connection with the 
existing and constitutional legal status. . . . The decision on 
these principles will come not by Parliamentary debate, not by 
majorities of eleven votes ; sooner or later the God who directs 
the battle will cast his iron dice.'^ The tradition which in- 
spired these words was not Teutonic but Eoman, and not in 
truth Roman but Oriental. Indeed we have the authority of a 
German historian for believing that Frederick William, the 
monarch whom Bismarck served at this time, actually regarded 
himself, like a Hebrew King, as the mouthpiece of Divine 
commands. 'The royal crown seemed to him surrounded by 
a mystic radiance, which became for him who wore it the source 
of a divine inspiration not vouchsafed to other mortals. He 
said once, in 1844, to Bunsen : ''You all mean well by me, and 
are very skilful in executing plans ; but there are certain things 
that no one but a king can know, which I myself did not know 
when I was Crown Prince, and have perceived only since I 
became King." ' ^ Many of the speeches of his great nephew, 
the present Emperor of Germany, have been distinctly tinged 
by the same idea, e,g, his speech at the unveiling of the 
Coligny statue at Wilhelmshaven on October 19, 1912. 'I 

^ Headlam, Bismarck^ pp. 31-32. * Ibid, p. 58. 

^ Quoted from Pretiss. Jahrhudier^ iv. vol. 63, p. 528 in Von Sybel's The 
Foujiding of the Oerman Empire, vol. i. pp. 113-114. 


hope then that this statue maj give each of you who passes OHAP. 
by, young and old, strength and vigour on his path through I 

lUe, and that each of you may be minded to remain loyal, 
body and soul, to his King and may remember that he will 
be ready to do that only if he remains loyal to his Heavenly 

But perhaps the crudest expression which the theocratic idea 
has ever received in modem times was on the morrow of the 
battle of Waterloo, when the leading powers of continental 
Europe leagued themselves in the 'Holy Alliance 'and announced 
' that they " in consequence of the great events (those leading to 
the defeat of Napoleon) . . . and of the blessings which it has 
pleased Divine Providence to shed upon those states . . . declare 
solemnly, that the present act has no other object than to show 
. . . their unwavering determination to adopt for the only rule 
of their conduct . . . the precepts of their holy religion, the 
precepts of justice, of charity, and of peace. . . ."* Considering 
themselves "only the members of one Christian nation'' they looked 
upon themselves as "delegated by Providence to govern three 
branches of the same family, to wit: Austria, Prussia, and Eussia." 
They confessed that there was really no other sovereign than 
" Him to whom alone power belongs of rights" etc. The title of 
the league is derived from the closing paragraph of the treaty 
(September 26, 1815) : — 

* " Article III. — ^All powers which wish solemnly to profess 
the sacred principles which have delegated this act, and who 
shall acknowledge how important it is to the happiness of nations, 
too long disturbed, that these truths shall henceforth exercise 
upon human destinies all the influence which belongs to them, 
shall be received with as much readiness as affection, into this 
Holy Alliance." 

' Into this combination France, Spain, Naples, and Sardinia 
entered. ... At Verona the allies signed a secret treaty 
(November 22, 1822) to which only the names of Metternich, 
Chateaubriand, Bemstet (Prussia), and Nesselrode appear. The 
first two articles of this instrument are of especial interest. 

' " The undersigned, specially authorized to make some 
additions to the treaty of the Holy Alliance, after having 
exchanged their respective credentials, have agreed as follows : — 

* " Article I. — The high contracting powers, being convinced 
that the system of representative government is equally as 
incompatible with the monarchical principles as the maxim of 
the sovereignty of the people with the divine right, engage 
mutually, in the most solemn manner, to use all their efforts 
to put an end to the system of representative governments, in 
whatever country it may exist in Europe, and to prevent its 
being introduced in those countries where it is not yet known. 

* " Article II. — As it cannot be doubted that the liberty of 


CHAP, the press is the most 'powerful means used by the pretended 
^ supporters of the rights of nations, to the detriment of those 
Princes, the high contracting parties promise reciprocally to 
adopt all proper measures to suppress it^ not only in their own 
states, but also in the rest of Europe." ' ^ 

^ Henderson, Amgriean JHplomalic Questiane, pp. S07, 308, 814. 



When the great body of the German people first chap. 
attained their national unity in 1870, their kinsmen, s^.^^^.,,^ 
by whom Britain had been colonized in the dark ages, Teutonic 


had already been united for eight centuries. State- atuined 
hood, not anarchy, is the road to freedom, and only deveiop-*^* 
when it has been reached can the principle of the EnffLnd 
commonwealth begin to be realized. Hence it was instead of 
in the island and not on the mainland that the *""■"'""• 
instinct of freedom which is implicit in the customs 
of the Germanic race first developed that principle. 
This, however, was in no way due to any special 
merit of the tribes which invaded Britain but only 
to the insular character of their new home. In 
Greece the states had grown up behind mountain 
walls. The straits which separated England from the 
Continent, secluded there, as by a moat, a section of 
Grermanic people not too large to develop a social 
will which they could use as the actuating principle 
of their government. 'In all ages and among all 
changes of inhabitants the insular character of Britain 
has been one of the ruling facts of its history. Its 
people, of whatever race or speech, whatever their 
political condition at home or their political relation 
to other countries, have been above all things pre- 
eminently islanders. This must be borne in mind 
through the whole of British history. We are not 
dealing with Celts, Romans, Teutons simply as such, 



CHAP, but with Celts, Romans, Teutons, modified by the fact 
'^ that they dwelled in a great island, which was cut oflF 
in many ways from 'the rest of the world, and which 
acted in many things as a separate world of itsel£' ^ 
Their The Tcutouic tribes which invaded Britain in the 

situation third and fourth centuries were almost entirely free 
protected f^^^ ^^ie influence of Rome.' To what extent they 
Teutonic spared and assimilated the Romanized Britons can 

conquerors + . i ' i in i 

of Britain ncver bc asccrtamcd and would not greatly concern 
Romanizing the present inquiry if it could. That Roman civiliza- 
inftuence. ^-^j^^ ^^^ displaced by the custom, language, and 

religion of the Germanic invaders is the really 

important fact and one which is fortunately beyond 

dispute. *A germ of political and social life was 

brought into Britain which, changing from generation 

to generation but never itself exchanged for any 

other system, borrowing from foreign sources but 

assimilating what it borrowed with its own essence, 

changing its outward shape but abiding untouched 

in its true substance, has lived and grown through 

fourteen hundred years into the law, the constitution, 

the social being of England.' * But the roads which 

the Romans had built remained long after their 

civilization was blotted out and exercised a certain 

unifying influence on the Saxon conquerors. In 

Ireland as in Germany the growth of statehood in 

the dark ages was choked for want of those physical 

arteries with which her engineers had equipped the 

provinces of Rome. 

Failure of In spitc of this advantage, however, the Teutonic 

to untte"^ invaders of Britain may be described no less than 

Eng^jn^i their kinsmen in Germany as * singularly capable of 

drifted entering into new combinations ; singularly liable to 

feudaUsm. be United and dissolved in short-lived confederations.' 

It was only when in the ninth century they had 

* Freeman, ' History of England/ Bncy. Brit, 10th ed. vol. Tiii. p. 264. 
2 Ibid. p. 266. « Ibid, pp. 276-277. 


to face a further invasion of their Norse kinsmen that chap. 
some kind of * unity began to be forced on England. 
* The first half of the tenth century gave the West- 
Saxon kings a position in Britain such as no English 
kings of any kingdom had held before them. 
Dominant in their own island, claiming and, when- 
ever they could, exercising a supremacy over the 
other princes of the island, their position in the island 
world of Britain was analogous to the position of the 
Western emperors in continental Europe. It was in 
fact an imperial position. As such it was marked by 
the assumption of the imperitj title, monarcha^ 
imperator, hasileus, Augustus ^ and even Caesar. 
These titles were meant at once to assert the imperial 
supremacy of the English kings within their own 
world, and to deny any supremacy over Britain on 
the part of either of the lords of the continental 
world. When we remember that some, both of the 
Teutonic and Celtic princes of Britain, had been the 
men of Charles the Great, the denial of all supremacy 
in the Caesars of the mainland was not needless. 
Indeed that denial was formally made over and over 
again at various times down to the reign of Henry 
VIII. ... If the king of the English was looked on 
as the emperor of another world, the primate of all 
England was also looked on, and was sometimes 
directly spoken of, as the Pope of another world.' ^ 
But as in Europe so in England disunion dogged the 
footsteps of the Teutonic race. The Saxons never 
finally established the principle of one paramount 
authority for all citizens of all degrees. As a natural 
consequence life and property were never really secure, 
and the contractual principle of feudalism began to 
obtain a hold over English society. 

It was William the Conqueror who laid the 

* Freeman, ' History of England/ Ency, Brit. lOth ed. vol. viii. pp. 284- 
285, 295. 


CHAP, foundations of statehood in England. He, through 
^^^^^^^^^^ the native vigour of his character, and his minister 
How Lanfranc through his training in the law-schools of 


the ^*°^ Pavia, had grasped, as the Germanic Emperors never 
Conqueror grrasped, the esscutial principle of Roman government. 

imposed or' r r o 

statehood ' When Domesday was finished in 1086, William 
England, gathered all the landowners of his kingdom, great 
and small, whether his tenants-in -chief or the tenants 
of an intermediate lord, and made them all become 
his men. No one act in English history is more 
important than this. ... It established the principle 
that, whatever duty a man might owe to any inferior 
lord, his duty to his sovereign lord the king came 
first. When this rule was once established, the 
mightiest earl in England could never be to William 
what William himself was to his own lord, the king 
of the French. . . . The notion that William intro- 
duced a " feudal system " into England is a delusion 
which shows utter ignorance, both of the position of 
William and of the general history of Europe. If by 
a "feudal system" is meant the state of things in 
Germany and Gaul — a state of things in which every 
great vassal became a rival to the king — Willianj took 
direct care that no such " feudal system " should ever 
be introduced into his kingdom. But if by a " feudal 
system" is meant merely the holding of land by 
military tenure subject to the burthens of reliefs, 
wardships, marriage, and the like, though William 
certainly did not introduce such a " system " ready- 
made, yet the circumstances of his reign did much to 
promote the growth of that kind of tenure, and of 
the whole class of ideas connected with it. Such 
tendencies were already growing in England, and his 
coming strengthened them. Under him the doctrine 
that all land is a grant from the crown became a 
fact. . . . The doctrine that a man was hound to 
follow his immediate lord had destroyed the roycd 


power in other lands. William, hy making himself chap. 
<Ae immediate lord of all his subjectSy turned that 
doctrine into the strongest support of his crown. . . . 
Justice became more centralized in EDgland than 
anywhere else. All the weightier causes came to be 
tried either in the king's own courts or by judges 
immediately commissioned by him. The local chiefs 
gave way to the king's representatives. . . . Teutonic 
notions of right and common sense were never wholly 
driven out.' ^ 

William thus began by asserting his claim to the Factors 
obedience of every Englishman irrespective of rank or Noman 
position. Apart from deliberate policy the Couquest ^^kin^"for 
had other features which helped to impose statehood unity. 
on England. The dialects of Saxon spoken in various 
districts were so different as to require translation 
before they could be mutually understood. England 
was, therefore, at the Conquest, for practical purposes, 
a country of many tongues. Th^ Normans, though 
Teutons by race, spoke French, and imposed it on 
the country as the official language, which, strange 
as it may seem, tended to unify England as a simUar 
use of English itself is tending to unify India. That 
the Saxons should absorb their Teutonic invaders was 
inevitable. But the diflference in language delayed 
the process, and held the Normans together long 
enough to act as a roller, and solidify the conquered 
race. Their temporary aloofness did for England 
what Crown Colony government has done for some 
of the Dominions. 

As with their cousins in Germany, however, the Develop- 
disturbed conditions of the Continent had prevented saTon law 
the Normans from producing a law of their own. jn^erthe 

•*■ ^ Normans 

1 Freeman, 'History of England,' Bn&y. Brit, 10th ed. vol. viii. pp. 295, tagenets. 
296, 298, 299. The italics are not the author's. Later historians aiQ dis- 
posed 4x) minimise the importance of the Salisbury gathering and of the oath 
there administered. See Davis, England under the Normans aivd Angevins^ 
p. 37. 


CHAP. The English, on the other hand, were the one branch 
" of the Teutonic race which had developed their 
native customs into a legal system, and this was 
adopted by William's son, Henry L, as the law of 
the land. But, as on the Continent, the Barons 
undertook to interpret and enforce the law, each 
for himself in his own manner, so that his vassals 
might regard him rather than the King as the 
dispenser of justice and source of authority. The 
weakness of Stephen had almost undone the work 
of William the Conqueror when Henry II. came to 
the throne and by means of his legal reforms placed 
it on a surer footing than ever. This he accomplished 
by establishing a system of Royal justice which was 
intrinsically better than that of the Barons. In 
questions affecting possession or the title of lands, 
he substituted trial by jury for the barbarous ordeal 
of battle which obtained in manorial courts. Justice 
was administered in his own court which was con- 
stantly on the move. But in order to bring his 
justice to the people's door, instead of waiting for 
them to come to his own, he sent his judges through- 
out the country, and in places they held no less 
than four assizes a year. He saw, moreover, that 
their judgments were duly enforced, and so popular 
did their jurisdiction become, that in 1305 the 
Northern counties, which always tended to stand 
aloof, petitioned the King for more frequent assizes. 
The King's justice won on its merits, and was sought 
in preference to that of the Barons. Henry II. 
thus established in the hearts of his people the 
principle initiated by his grandfather, that every 
Englishman should look to the King, and not as in 
Germany to some local princeling, as the sovereign 
authority to whom his allegiance was due. The 
native law of England flourished under his hand, 
and that English instead of Eoman law is now being 


administered at Melbourne, Vancouver, and San chap. 
Francisco, is due to the obscure assizes of the first .^^^^^^^^^ 
Plantagenet. Edward I. completed his work by 
making the King's writ run through every part of 
his realm but Ireland, that tragic exception to every 
phase in the growth of the English Commonwealth. 
The attitude which Englishmen developed towards 
their government is accurately expressed in the 
phrase 'Every subject's duty is the King's, but 
every subject's soul is his own.' ^ Throughout the 
Empire the terms * King ' or * Crown ' are now used 
as the legal equivalent of the * State.' So modified, 
the formula is one which Socrates himself would 
have accepted as expressing his own relation to the 
commonwealth of Athens. 

The result was that the primitive Teutonic idea, Develop- 
that every man has his value, flourished and grew ^f\"he 
to be one of the two great systems of civilized law. snpremacy 

o J of law as 

The notion, which Socrates held so strongly, that thcdistin- 
the ultimate obedience of the subject is due to law mark^of 
and not to any individual, was rapidly developed gtitiitionfl. 
in the English mind, and 'the rule, predominance, 
or supremacy of law' became *the distinguishing 
characteristic of English institutions.' ^ By the reign 
of Henry VI. it had become a maxim of the English 
courts that 'the law is the supreme inheritance of 
the King: for by the law he himself and all his 
subjects are governed, and without the law neither 
King nor inheritance would exist.' ^ And this maxim 
was no empty phrase. Time and again, kings like 
the Stuarts, parliaments like that which imprisoned 
Wilkes, or ministries like those which in recent 
years assumed the right to collect taxes before they 
were voted, have sought to ignore or evade it.* But 

* Henry V., Act I v. Sc. i. 

» Dicey, TU Law oftht OonatUtUion, p. 183. » Ibid. p. 179. 

* See Note B at end of this chapter, p. 121. 


CHAP, in the end the supremacy of law has always been 
^^„^^^ vindicated by the courts, and confinned as the vital 
and distinguishing mark of British civilization. It 
is the corner-stone of the constitution upon which 
government throughout the Empire is baaed. It 
means in the first place that British subjects are 
ruled by laws and not by men. The law is above 
the ruler, and it is by virtue of the law alone that 
he rules. A British subject may be punished for 
breach of law but for nothing else. It means equality 
before the law, which is one and the same for all 
men. It 'excludes the idea of any exemption of 
officials or others from the duty of obedience to the 
law which governs other citizens, or &om the juris- 
diction of the ordinary tribunals. . . . The notion 
which lies at the bottom of the " administrative law " 
known to foreign countries is, that affairs or disputes 
in which the government or its servants are concerned 
are beyond the sphere of the civil courts, and must 
be dealt with by special and mote or less official 
bodies.' ' The continental idea of administrative law 
is fundamentally at variance with English traditions 
and customs. 
Tiie Dicey, in his work on the Law of the Constitution 

cTi^utu. (&om which the above quotations are made), goes 
the" ro'"^ on to poiut out that all the main principles of the 
JuctofihB British Constitution rest upon the supremacy of law. 
^n^reniaoy j^ ^ geries of chapters he shows how personal freedom, 
ort^u*""^* the rights of discussion and of public meeting, the 
the rights and duties of the army, 
izpenditure of public revenue, and 
it ministeia, are ultimately based 
e ordinary courts of law.^ 'An 
imarks, ' naturally imagines that 
I the sense in which we are now 
a trait common to all civilized 

yommvtim, p. 108.  Ibid. |). 190. 


societies.' But this supposition is erroneous. . . . chap. 
It is even now far from universally true that in ^^^.^ 
continental countries all persons are subject to one 
and the same law, or that the courts are supreme 
throughout the state.' * This failure to recognize the 
distinguishing feature of their own institutions which 
this author remarks in the mother country is, if any- 
thing, more noteworthy in the oversea DominionSi 
owing to their distance from the continent of Europe. 
And yet the issues in the long struggle between 
Britain and Europe for the control of the new 
continents opened by the labours of Henry the 
Navigator cannot be understood unless the signifi- 
cance of this principle is realized. Without it the 
place which the British Empire has filled in the world 
cannot possibly be grasped. The extract from the 
Law of the Constitution appended to this chapter is 
particularly instructive upon this point, but a study 
of the book itself will repay the labour of any reader 
who is not aheady acquainted with it.^ 

The common authority which the English were Tranaferof 
learning to obey was a body of principles, and not of c£mg' 
the will of an individual. At the same time they j^^f^m 
were acquiring the faculty, which the people of the Grown 
Athens had exercised through their ecclesia, of people, 
moulding those principles in accordance with their 
own experience. The function of changing old laws 
and of making new ones was, indeed, passing from 
the successors of William the Conqueror to the people 
themselves. From the point of view of the present 
inquiry this transfer of sovereignty had consequences 
which were all-important; and to understand these 
consequences it is necessary to see how the transfer 
was made. 

When the Saxon invaders settled on the lands 

' Dicey, The Law of the Consiitutionj p. 190. 
' See Kote A ftt end of this chapter, p. 108. 


CHAP, which they had won they retained and reproduced 
^^^^.^^^^^^ to a very large extent the primitive organization 
Primitive which Tacitus had encountered in GermaJiy. A 
fn rxrn^ habit of consultation between the chief and the 
fiTl^te^ men of his tribe, was, as Tacitus shows, prescribed 
effect on by the primitive customs of the race. In Saxon 
Norman England this habit was widely recognized and obeyed. 
monarchy. (Government in the boroughs was conducted by an 
assembly of the inhabitants called the borough-moot, 
presided over by a reeve. The smallest unit of rural 
government was the township, and the freemen who 
cultivated the landa within the district assembled in 
the town-moot to conduct its local a£fairs. The next 
largest area was the hundred, a district supposed to 
contain a hundred families, the heads of which could 
meet to discuss their local affairs with the reeve. 
These were assemblies of a kind which the Americans 
would call primaries, and in principle resembled the 
ecclesia of Athens. Finally the local organization 
of England assumed approximately its modern form 
in the ninth and tenth centurie& The little king- 
doms of the south, consolidated under the rule of 
Wessexi became units of local government, while 
the reconquest of the Danelaw by the House of 
Alfred further extended the division of the country 
into shires. The folk-moot of Tacitus, which decided 
questions of peace suid war, is to be found in the 
shire-moot, presided over by the ealdorman, which 
was in theory an assembly of the freemen of the 
shire. While, during Saxon times, the demo- 
cratic spirit of the Teutons declined before the 
encroachments of feudalism, it was of inunense 
importance that the democratic forms remained. 
The representative system sprang directly from these 
ancient forms of local government, survivals of the 
Saxon conquest, which, when combined with the 
Norman institution of juries, prepared the way for 


popular representation in a national assembly. The chap. 
juries of id quest and assessment elaborated into a v,...,,^^^.^ 
definite system by Henry 11. were elected in these 
ancient courts and contained the germ of national 
representation. Great as was their importance from 
the purely legal point of view, their political import- 
ance was even greater. The reeve and four men who 
assessed their neighbours' property, and formed an 
elected committee with purely local duties, prepared 
the way for representatives of the electors with the 
task of assenting to or refusing the financial demands 
of the King. But while tiie folk-moots of the 
tribal age became the shire-moots of the Saxon 
Kingdom, the witanagemots, the assemblies of chiefs 
described by Tacitus, were absorbed into one body, 
attached to the person of the King. When Egbert 
consolidated the Heptarchy into one kingdom, his 
witan was no more than an aristocratic council of 
state which failed altogether to satisfy the national 
tradition of popular government. It failed, therefore, 
to give any real unity to England, and consequently 
it was upon a congeries of loosely connected com- 
munities that statehood was forcibly imposed by 
the sword of William the Conqueror. After his 
death the reviving power of the feudal lords led 
Henry L to court an alliance with the people, in 
porsuauoe whereof he restored to them the Saxon 
laws. Their common danger was illustrated by the 
anarchy of the following reign, when Stephen proved 
too weak to curb the power of his nobles. 

Thereafter, the restoration of the 'good laws of principle 
King Edward the Confessor' was the favourite ^„te^t5on. 
promise of a new king, and in this way the ita growth 
Plantagenets followed the example of Henry L in Pianta- 
paying unconscious homage to the principle of ^^^^ 
government by assent. No vestige, however, of 
popular government had yet reappeared. The 


CHAP. Common Council was a purely feudal body, a 
^^^^^ gathering of nobles and bishops, the tenants in chief 
of the King. In 1215 it was ordained in Magna 
Carta that no new taxation should be imposed 
except by the Common Council of the realm, the 
constitution of which was defined. The nobles and 
bishops were to be personally summoned to it by the 
King, and the lesser tenants in chief by a general 
writ issued through the sheriff. But the crucial 
step was taken in the next reign when Simon de 
Montfort, supported by the towns, clergy, universities, 
and large numbers of the commonalty, overthrew 
the King at Lewes and proclaimed a new constitution. 
He summoned to the Common Council not only 
the nobles and the bishops, but also two burgesses 
from every town and two knights from every shire. 
Simon de Montfort was defeated and slain by Edward 
I. at the battle of Evesham. But the principles 
of the rebel earl survived him and prevailed over 
the victor himself, who in 1295 summoned to the 
* model parliament' two burgesses from each city, 
borough, and leading town, and from every shire 
two knights, chosen by the freeholders at the shire 
Importance In the history of the Commonwealth there is no 
iMuedV document of greater importance than the summons 
Edward I. issued bv Edward I. to the sheriflF of Northampton- 
summoning shirc, which reads as follows : * The King to the 
tivesT<r SheriflF of Northamptonshire. Since we intend to 
Parliament. ^^"^^ a cousultatiou and meeting with the earls, 
barons, and other principal men of our kingdom with 
regard to providing remedies against the dangers 
which are in these days threatening the same king- 
dom : and on that account have commanded them 
to be with us on the Lord's Day next after the 
feast of St. Martin in the approaching winter, at 
Westminster, to consider, ordain, and do as may be 


necessary for the avoidance of these dangers : we chap. 
strictly require you to cause two knights from the v,.^,.,.^^.,,^ 
aforesaid county, two citizens from each city and 
two burgesses from each borough, of those who are 
especially discreet and capable of labouring, to be 
elected without delay, and cause them to come to 
us at the aforesaid time and place. Moreover^ the 
said knights are to have full and sufficient power 
for themselves and for the community of the afore- 
said county^ and the said citizens and burgesses 
for themselves and the communities of the aforesaid 
cities and boroughs separately^ there and then^ 
for doing what shall then be ordained according 
to the Common Council in the premises^ so that 
the aforesaid business shall not remain unfinished 
in any way for defect of this power. And you 
shall have there the names of the knights, citizens, 
and burgesses, and this writ.' 

The document is one that bears on its face the Trae 
stamp of a mind in touch with realities. Its author ^ re°pre? 
recognized that he was dealing with a people who ^^'tts^^ 
must be identified with their own government before ^onse- 
they could be prepared generously to contribute effect on 
to its maintenance. For their ruler to meet and ml^toi 
address them in accordance with ancient practice ^^® 

* common- 

had long been impossible, and he called upon them, wealth. 

therefore, to send representatives, no more than 

could assemble in one place, to consider, assent to, or 

refuse the supplies which he deemed necessary for 

the public safety. But while bowing to the national 

instincts, he studiously insisted on the only condition 

by which they could be reconciled with the actual 

necessities of government, and warned his subjects 

that they must expect to be committed by their 

delegates no less than if they themselves had been 

present. The delegates were told in advance that 

they must come prepared, not only to discuss the 

• ! .'. 

• • « 


, • ' - • • 

• • • 


OHAP. affairs of the realm, but to settle them ; and farther, 

that they must regard themselves and their con- 
stituents as bound by the settlement. For they and 
their electors were from first to last one, and there 
could in the end be but one government for them all. 
This indeed was the final condition of statehood, 
the only foundation upon which the commonwealth 
could rest. 

Edward I. was no politician versed in the art of 
evading or veiling issues, but a statesman who went 
out to meet them. The plenary power of the deputy 
to commit his constituents is the essence of repre- 
sentation, and it was in this that the Parliaments 
henceforward established in England difi'ered from 
the Synod of Delos and the Diet of the Holy Boman 
Empire. An idea had been realized in the machinery 
of an actual government which made it possiWe, 
even in that rude age, for a community, vastly too 
great to listen to the voice of a single orator, to 
formulate the general will in terms precise enough 
to become the actuating principle of its government. 

No sooner was Parliament assembled than the 
men t*of its inhabitants of the towns and counties b^an to use 
the burgesses and knights they had sent to it, as 
vehicles for petitions to the King, asking for the 
removal of abuses, and also demanding changes in 
the law. Before granting supplies required by the 
King, Parliament adopted the habit of awaiting his 
reply to such petitions until he was pledged to adminis- 
trative and legal reforms demanded by public opinion. 
In 1322 a statute was issued by the King declaring 
that ' the matters to be established for the estate of 
the King and of his heirs, and for the estate of the 
realm and of the people, should be treated, accorded, 
and established in Parliament, by the King, and by 
the assent of the prelates, earls, and barons, and the 
community of the realm, according as had been before 


right to 
alter the 


aoeustomed/ A further step waa taken when, in 1327, ohap. 
Edward 11. waa depoBed, and Parliament assumed the ^^^^^ 
right of appointing his son, Edward III., to reign 
in his place. Whenever his BQceesaors might olaim, 
as they afterwards did, to rest their authority on 
divine right, the Fing1ii>vh people could henceforward 
point to a monarch whose right to reign was founded 
expressly on the popular will In the reign of 
Edward IIL it came to be recognized that no altera^ 
tion in the law was to be made by the King on his 
own authority and without the consent of Parlia- 

The exclusive right of the people to alter the law How thia 
was thus established in principle. But as Dicey nndereT 
shows it was characteristic of the English to place effective. 
but little value on principles until they had secured a 
machinery for giving effect to them in practice. To 
begin with, the Parliaments, were content to vote 
supplies as soon as the King had assented to their 
petitions, leaving it to him to give effect to his 
promises. When the King had agreed to change the 
laws or make new ones, statutes were framed by ihe 
judges and enrolled by his authority after the Parlia- 
ment had been prorogued. But it was often found that 
the new statutes differed in material respects from 
the petitions of Parliament actually granted by the 
King. Henry V. promised ' that nothing should be 
enacted to the petitions of the commons, contrary to 
their asking, whereby they should be bound without 
their assent.' But so long aa the actual statute was 
not framed until Parliament had been prorogued 
there could be no security against abuse.. In the 
reign of Henry YL Parliament therefore adopted the 
plan of attaching to their petition a draft of the law 
which they desired the King to enact. This draft or 
bill became the subject of discussion in Parliament 
before it was submitted to the King, and in these dis- 


CHAP, cusfiions was developed a method of translating public 
opinion into law which has become the basis of 
parliamentary procedure throughout the civilized 
world. Since the reign of Queen Anne no sovereign 
has ventured to withhold assent from any bill pre- 
sented by Parliament, so that the power of altering 
the law has finally passed from the Crown to the 
representatives of the peopla With the single ex- 
ception of the veto this transfer of sovereignty had 
been effected in principle by the reign of Henry VI. 
In the fifteenth century, however, Parliamentary 
government had outgrown its strength. It had 
succeeded in weakening the authority of the crown 
without being strong enough to replace it with the 
authority of Parliament. A new feudalism arose, 
more dangerous than any other that had hitherto 
subsisted in England. Constitutional development 
was summarily checked by the Wars of the Roses, 
a series of dreary dynastic struggles lasting nearly to 
the dose of the century. When Henry VII. won the 
Crown on Bosworth field he was faced with a position 
not dissimilar from that with which Henry II. had had 
to cope more than three centuries before. The popular 
despotism of the Tudors was the prelude to the con- 
stitutional development which took place under the 
Stuarts, and which drew its inspiration very largely 
from the precedents set by the earlier movement 
which began with de Montfort's Parliament and ended 
with the fall of Henry VI. The victory of Parliament 
in the Great Rebellion was followed by a military 
dictatorship, but neither that nor the Restoration of 
Charles II. could obliterate the lessons which had 
been learnt in the school of Hampden and Pym. 
With the expulsion of James II. firom the kingdom 
the throne was established once more on a parlia- 
mentary title, and the doctrine of divine right re- 
vived by the Tudors and Stuarts received its final 


death-blow.^ Lord John Russell, when asked by chap. 
Queen Victoria whether he did not believe in that 
doctrine^ was able to reply, * As a loyal supporter of 
the House of Hanover I am obliged to tell your 
Majesty that I do not' 

The exclusive right of altering the law was thus Difficulties 
transferred, step by step, from the Crown to the f^"par- 
representatives of the people. But even when }jjj.™°/' 
Parliament had asserted the right to frame the very power to 
words in which new laws were enacted, it still found execution 
that the control which it exercised over national i^tmade*^' 
affairs was extremely limited, so long as the duty 
of executing the law remained with the King. Laws, 
especially those granting money (and they are the 
most important laws of all) can at best declare the 
will of the community in general terms. Without 
any violation of their letter such laws may be 
executed in different ways, and different policies 
may be involved in their execution, according to the 
disposition of the executive entrusted with the. task. 
It was only in the nature of things that the policy 
of the King should at times differ from that which 
Parliament or the nation would have preferred, and 
in such cases the only remedy open to Parliament 
was to refuse to vote supplies until their wishes were 
observed. But a control which can only be exercised 
by paralysing government is a precarious control. 
It does not follow that a ship will stay where it is 
if the stokers refuse to shovel the coal until the 
navigating officer has agreed to steer the course they 
desire ; for while the controversy is proceeding the ship 
may drift on the rocks. If some such system has so 
far worked in the United States it is merely because 
it happens to be far removed from hostile shores. 

It was in order to solve this diflSculty that the 
Crown attempted in the seventeenth and eighteenth 

^ See Note D at the end of Chapter I. 




Crown to 
ment of 

centuries to recover control of the legislature, partly 
by packing the House of Commons with its own 
nominees, and partly by buying the votes of its 
members. Rotten boroughs, or sham constituencies, 
in which the electors were so few as to be amenable to 
the influence of the Crown, were created. Patronage 
and money were freely used to influence votes in 
Parliament itself. These practices were gradually 
stopped by a series of reforms which removed the 
members from the influence of the Crown, and 
rendered them more accountable to the constituencies 
which elected them. But the solution of the problem 
was only reached when the sovereign ceased to dis- 
charge the functions of the executive, and trantrferred 
them to the minister who, for the time being, was 
regarded as their leader by the majority in the 
House of Commons. Thus at last the organ of the 
general will was able not only to make the laws, but 
to determine the manner of their execution, and the 
constitutional conflict was ended. The sovereign, 
however, retained an all-important function. He still 
held the pow^ of attorney for the Commonwealth, 
by means of which, in the last resort, the nation 
could be enabled to declare whether a parliament or 
government were rightly interpreting its will. The 
prerogative of the Crown had, as Dicey declares, 
become the privileges of the people, and sovereignty 
had passed from the monarch to a popular assembly. 
The monarch had, in fact, become the hereditary 
president of a republic, and whatever her private 
views may have been on the subject of divine right, 
the momentous change was finally consummated 
by the tact and statesmanship of Queen Victoria 
hersel£ No president holding oflSice by the votes 
of a dominant party could ever identify himself so 
completely with the nation as the monarchy has 
done since Queen Victoria ascended the throne. 



Edward I. can scarcely have realized when he chap. 

issued his famous writ that he, a powerful despot, „.^.,.^^,.^^ 

was laying the foundation of commonwealths greater with each 

than the ancients had ever conceived. By the device ^ntTn 

of representation the principle of government based ^^™g"^' 

on the experience of the governed was destined to larger 

"LJiTiT 11 common- 

be rendered applicable to states more populous than wealths 

the Boman Empire. But even so its extension p^™fe. 
depended on gradual improvements in physical means 
of communication ; and it was not perhaps till the 
last half century that it became possible for the prin- 
ciple of the commonwealth to be applied to territories 
so large as those of Australia, Canada, or the present 
area of the United States. 

In the Middle Ages constituencies evaded the Edward i. 
writs whenever they could, and knights and burgesses exclude 
made pathetic attempts to avoid election. To collect ^^® . 

^ p, colonies 

m one place representatives from every part of a from the 
country no larger than England was in that rude p^ia* 
age a bold idea, and, no doubt, contemporary wise- ™°^* 
acres argued that because it was novel and difficult, it 
was therefore impossible. The event proved otherwise ; 
but if Edward had summoned representatives from 
his oversea dominions to meet him at Westminster, 
the experiment must almost certainly have failed. 

The words * oversea dominions ' suggest the remark a separate 
that the age of colonization did not begin three nTentT 
hundred years later, in the reign of Queen Elizabeth, ^^^^ 
but had already begun in the reign of Henry 11. , some English 
four centuries and a half before Virginia was planted, in Ireland. 
When Edward I. summoned the model Parliament 
in 1295, the English had actually been conqyiering 
and founding colonies in Ireland for more than a 
century. But though the Plantagenets claimed sove- 
reignty over the whole island, their rule had never 
been extended beyond the English colonies, which 
clustered round the ports, to the natives themselves. 


CHAP. Their actual authority over Ireland was indeed 
scarcely greater than that exercised by James I. 
over North America. The Irish Channel was then 
more dangerous and difficult to cross than the 
Atlantic to-day, and instead of calling upon the 
colonists to send representatives to Westminster, 
Edward I. instructed his Viceroy to convene a 
separate parliament at Dublin. At the very outset, 
the fissiparous tendency, which prevented the creation 
of a national state in Greece, imposed itself on the 
man who must rank as the founder of the national 
commonwealth in the modern world. 


See page By speci&l leave of the distinguished author, which is here gratefully 

97. acknowledged, Chapter IV. of The Law of the OonstUuiion, by Prof. A. V. 

Dicey, together with its notes and references, is appended in frill. 



The Rule Two features have at all times since the Norman Conquest 
of Law. characterized the political institutions of England. 

The first of these features is the omnipotence or undisputed 
supremacy throughout the whole country of the central 
government This authority of the state or the nation was 
during the earlier periods of our history represented by the 
power of the Crown. The King was the source of law and the 
maintainer of order. The maxim of the Courts, tout fuit in luy 
et vient de lui al commencement,^ was originally the expression of 
an actual and undoubted fact. This royal supremacy has now 
passed into that sovereignty of Parliament which has formed the 
main subject of the foregoing chapters.^ 

The second of these features, which is closely connected with 
the first, is the rule or supremacy of law. This peculiarity of 
our polity is well expressed in the old saw of the Courts, ^La Uy 
est la plus haute inheritaTice, que le ray ad ; car par la ley il mSme et 
torn ses sujeis sont ruU$^ et si la ley ne fuit^ nvl roi, et nvl inheri- 
tance sera,' * 

^ Year Books, xxir. Edward III. ; cited Gneist, Englische V^erwaltungs- 
rechtf i. p. 454. 

2 See Part I. 

* Year Books, xix. Henry VI. , cited Gneist, Englisehe Vervoaltungsreckt^ 
i. p. 455. 


This supremacy of the law, or the security given under the CHAP. 
English constitution to the rights of individuals looked at from H 
various points of view, forms the subject of this part of this '*--'-v-«^^ 

Foreign obsei*vers of JBnglish manners, sueh for example as The rule 
Voltaire, De Lolme, Tocqueville, or Gneist, have been far more ^ ^*^ ^J 
struck than have Englishmen themselves with the fact that no^ced 
England is a country governed, as is scarcely any other part of by foreign 
Europe, under the rule of law ; and admiration or astonishment ooeervera. 
at the legality of English habits and feeling is nowhere better 
expressed than in a ciunous passage from Tocqueville's writings, 
which compares the Switzerland and the England of 1836 in 
respect of the spirit which pervades their laws and manners/ 

' I am not about,' he writes, ' to compare Switzerland ^ with Tocque- 
the United States, but with Great Britain. When you examine ^^* ^^ 
the two countries, or even if you only pass through them, yQu ^f respect 
perceive, in my judgment, the most astonishing differences for law in 
between them. Take it all in all, England seems to be much f'^^"'^ j 
more republican than the Helvetic Republic. The principal contrant 
differences tfre toxfnd in the institutions of the two countries, and with 
especially in their customs (moBurs). England. 

' 1. In almost all the Swiss Cantons liberty of the press is a 
very recent thing. 

' 2. In almost all of them individual liberty is by no means 
completely guaranteed, and a man may be arrested administra- 
tively and detained in prison without much formality. 

'3. The Courts have not, generally speaking, a perfectly 
independent position. 

* 4. In all the Cantons trial by jury is unknown. 

*6. In several Cantons the people were thirty-eight years 
ago entirely without political rights. Aargau, Thurgau, Tessin, 
Vaud, and parts of the Cantons of Zurich and Berne were in 
this condition. 

*The preceding observations apply even more strongly to 
customs than to institutions. 

*i. In many of the Swiss Cantons the majority of the 
citizens are quite without taste or desire for self-govemmtnt, and 
have not acquired the habit of it In any crisis they interest 
themselves about their affairs, but you never see in them the 
thirst for political rights and the craving to take part in public 
affairs which seem to torment Englishmen throughout their lives. 

* ii. The Swiss abuse the liberty of the press on account of 
its being a recent form of liberty, and Swiss newspapers are much 
more revolutumary and much less practical than English news- 

^ Many of Tooqueville's remarks are not applicable to the Switzerland of 
1902 : tl^ey refer to a period before the creation in 1848 of the Swiss Federal 


CHAP. 'iii. The Swiss seem still to look upon associations from 

n much the same point of view as the French, that is to say, thej 

^-^^'v^'^^ consider them as a means of revolution, and not as a slow and 

sure method for obtaining redress of wrongs. The art of 

associating and of making use of the right of association is but 

little understood in Switzerland. 

* iv. The Swiss do not show the love of justice which is such 
a strong characteristic of the English. Their Courts have no 
place in the political arrangements of the country, and exert 
no influence on public opinion. The love of justice, the peaceful 
and legal introduction of the judge into the domain of politics, 
are perhaps the most standing characteristics of a free people. 

' V. Finally, and this really embraces all the rest^ the Swiss 
do not show at bottom that respect for justice, that love of law, 
that dislike of using force; without which no free nation can 
exist, which strikes strangers so forcibly in England. 
' I sum up these impressions in a few words. 
' Whoever travels in the United States is involuntarily and 
instinctively so impressed with the fact that the spirit of liberty 
and the taste for it have pervaded all the habits of the 
American people, that he cannot conceive of them under any 
but a Republican government In the same way it is impossible 
to think of the English as living under any but a free govern- 
ment. But if violence were to destroy the Eepublioan institutions 
in most of the Swiss Cantons, it would be by no means certain 
that after rather a short state of transition the people would not 
grow accustomed to the loss of liberty. In the United States 
and in England there seems to be more liberty in the customs 
than in the laws of the people. In Switzerland there seems to 
be more liberty in the laws than in the customs of the country.' ^ 
Bearing of Tocqueville's language has a twofold bearing on our juresent 
Tocc^ue- topic. His words point in the clearest manner to the rule, 
remarks predominance, or supremacy of law as the distinguishing 
on mean- characteristic of English institutions. They further direct 
ingofrule attention to the extreme vagueness of a trait of national 
character which is as noticeable as it is hard to portray. 
Tocqueville, we see, is clearly perplexed how to define a feature 
of English manners of which he at once recognizes the existence ; 
he mingles or confuses together the habit of aelf-govemment, the 
love of order, the respect for justice and a legal turn of mind. 
All these sentiments are intimately allied, but they cannot with- 
out confusion be identified with each other. If, however, a 
critic as acute as Tocqueville found a difficulty in describing one 
of the most marked peculiarities of English life, we may safely 
conclude that we ourselves, whenever we talk of Englishmen as 
loving the government of law, or of the supremacy of law as 
being a characteristic of the English constitution, are using words 

^ See Tocqueville, (Euvres cmnpUtes, viii. ])p. 455-457. 


which, though they possefis a real aignificance, are nevertheless OHAP. 
to most persons who employ them full of vagueness and IK 
ambiguity. If therefore we are ever to appreciate the full '^-^v-'*^ 
import of the idea denoted by the term ' rule, supremacy, or 
predominance of law/ we must first determine precisely what we 
mean by such expressions when we apply them to the British 

When we say that the supremacy or the rule of law is a Three 
characteristic of the English constitution, we generally include ™amng8 
under one expression at least three distinct though kindred i^^^, 

We mean, in the first place, that no man is punishable or can Absence of 
be lawfully made to suffer in body or goods except for a distinct arbitrary 
breach of law established in the ordinary legal manner before ^^^ofUie 
the ordinary Courts of the land. In this sense the rule of law is govern- 
contrasted with every system of government based on the °^®'^^* 
exercise by persons in authority of wide, arbitrary, or dis- 
cretionary powers of constraint. 

Modern Englishmen may at first feel some surprise that the Contrast 
* rule of law ' (in the sense in which we are now using the term) ^®*^®®^ 
should be considered as in any way a peculiarity of English and the 
institutions, since, at the present day, it may seem to be not Continent 
so much the property of any one nation as a trait common to ^^ present 
every civilized and orderly state. Yet, even if we confine our *^' 
observation to the existing condition of Europe, we shall soon be 
convinced that the 'rule of law' even in this nisrrow sense is 
peculiar to England, or to those countries which, like the 
United States of America, have inherited English traditions. In 
almost every continental community the executive exercises 
far wider discretionary authority in the matter of arrest, of 
temporary imprisonment^ of expulsion from its territory, and the 
like, than is either legally claimed or in fact exerted by the 
government in England ; and a study of European politics now 
and again reminds English readers that wherever there is • 
discretion there is room for arbitrariness, and that in a republic 
no less than under a monarchy discretionary authority on the 
part of the government must mean insecurity for legal freedom 
on the part of its subjects. 

If, however, we confined our observation to the Europe of 
the twentieth century, we might well say that in most European 
countries the rule of law is now nearly as well established as in 
England, and that private individuals at any rata who do not 
meddle in politics have little to fear, as long as they keep the 
law, either from the Government or from any one else ; and we 
might therefore feel some difficulty in understanding how it ever 
happened that to foreigners the absence of arbitrary power on 
the part of the Crown, of the executive, and of every other 
authority in England, has always seemed a striking feature, we 




and Con- 

might almost say the essential characteristic, of the English 

Our perplexity is entirely removed by carrying back our 
minds to the time when the English constitution began to be 
criticized and admired by foreign thinkers. During the 
eighteenth century many of the continental governments were 
far from oppressive, but there was no continental country where 
men were secure from arbitrary power. The singularity of 
England was not so much the goodness or the leniency as the 
legality of the English system of government When Voltaire 
came to England — and Voltaire represented the feeling of his 
age — his predominant sentiment clearly was that he had passed 
out of the realm of despotism to a land where the laws might be 
harsh, but where men were ruled by law- and not by caprice.* 
He had good reason to know the difference. In 1717 Voltaire 
was sent to the Bastille for a poem which he had not written, of 
which he did not know the author, and with the sentiment of 
which he did not agree. What adds to the oddity, in English 
eyes, of the whole transaction is that the Eegent treated the 
affair as a sort of joke, and, so to speak, ' chaffed ' the supposed 
author of the satire ' / have seen ' on being about to pay a visit to 
a prison which he 'had not seen.'^ In 1725 Voltaire, then the 
literary hero of his country, was lured off from the table of a 
Duke, and was thrashed by lackeys in the presence of their noble 
master; he was unable to obtain either legal or honourable 
redress, and because he complained of this outrage, paid a second 
visit to the Bastille. This indeed was the last time in which he 
was lodged within the walls of a French gaol, but his whole life 
was a series of contests with arbitrary power, and nothing but 
his fame, his deftness, his infinite resource, and ultimately his 
wealth, saved him from penalties far more severe than temporary 
imprisonment. Moreover, the price at which Voltaire saved his 
property and his life was after all exile from France. Whoever 
wants to see how exceptional a phenomenon was that supremacy 

^ ' La liberty est le droit de faire tont ce qne les lois pennettent ; et si nn 
citoyen pouvoit faire ce qu'elles d^fendent, il n'auroit pins de liberty, paroe 
que les autres auroient tout de m^me ce pouvoir.' — Montesquieu, De VesprU 
des lois, livre XI. chap. ill. 

' II 7 a aussi une nation dans le monde qui a pour objet direct de sa con- 
stitution la liberty politique.' — Ibid. chap. v. The English are this nation. 

' ' Les circonstances qui contraignaient Voltaire k chercher un refuge chez 
nos Toisins devaient lui inspirer une grande sympathie pour des institutions 
oil il n*7 avait nulle place k I'arbitraire. ' * La raison est libre ici et n'y connatt 
point de contrainte." On y respire un air plus g^n^reuz, Ton se sent an 
milieu de citoyens qui n'ont pas tort de porter le front haut, de marcher 
fi^rement, siirs qu'on n'e^t pu toucher a un seul cheveu de leur tSte, et 
n'ayant k redonbter ni lettres de cachet, ni captivity immotiv^.' — 
Desnoiresterres, VoUairet i. p. 866. 

' pesnoiresterres, i. pp. 844-364. 


of law which existed in England daring the eighteenth century CHAP, 
should read such a book as Morley's l^e cf Diderot The effort H 
lasting for twenty-two years to get the Encifclopidie published 
was a struggle on the part of all the distinguished literary men 
in France to obtain utterance for tfajsir thoughts. It is hard 
to say whether the difficulties or the success of the contest bear 
the strongest witness to the way wacd arbitrariness of the French 

Royal lawlessness was not peculiar to specially detestable 
monarchs such as Louis the Fifteenth : it was inherent in the 
French system of administration. An idea prevails that Louis 
the Sixteenth at least was not an arbitrary, as he assuredly was 
not a cruel rulw. But it is an error to suppose that up to 1 789 
anything like the supremacy of law jossted under the French 
monarchy. The folly, the grievances, and the mystery of the 
Chevalier D'Eon made as much noise little more than a century 
ago as the imposture of the Claimant in our own day. The 
memory of these things is not in itself wortb reviving. What 
does deserve to be kept in remembrance is that in 1778, in t^ 
days of Johnson, of Adam Smith, of Gibbon, of Cowper, of 
Burke, «nd of Mansfield, during the continuance of the American 
war and within eleven years of the assembling of the States 
Greneral, a brave officer and a distis^ished diplomatist could 
for some offence still unknown, without trial and without con- 
viction, be condemned to undergo a penance and disgrace which 
could hardly be rivalled by the fanciful caprice of the torments 
inflicted by Oriental despotism.^ 

Nor let it be imagined that during the latter part of the 
eighteenth •century the government oi France was more arbitnury 
than that of other countries. To entertain such a supposition 
is to misconceive utterly the condition of the Continent In 
France, law and public opinion counted for a great deal more 
than in Spain, in the petty States of Italy, or in the Principalities 
of (xermany. All the evils of despotism which attracted the 
notice of the world in a great kingdom such as France existed 
under worse forms in countries where, just because the evil was 
so much greater, it attracted the less attention. The power 
of the French monarch was criticized more severely than the 
lawlessness of a score of petty tyrants, not because the French 
King ruled more despotically than other crowned heads, but 
because the French people appeared from the eminence o| the 
nation to have a ^lecial claim to freedom, and because the 
ancient kingdom of France was the typical representative of 
despotism. This explains the thrill of enthusiasm with which 

^ It is worth notice that even after the meeting of the States General 
the King was apparently reluctant to give np altogether the powers exercised 
by UUres de cachet. See 'Declaration des intentions dn Roi,' art. 15, 
Plonard, Lu CtmUUvJiions frcm^aise», p. 10. 





tion and 

has not been made but has grown.' This dictum, If taken 
literally, is absurd. 'Political institutions (however the 
proposition may be at times ignored) are the' work of men, owe 
their origin and their whole Bjdstence to human will. Men did 
not wake up on a summer morning and find them sprung up. 
Neither do they resemble trees, which, once planted, are '* aye 
growing" while men ''are sleeping." In every stage of their 
existence they are made what they are by human voluntary 
agency/ ^ 

Yet^ though this is so, the dogma that the form of a govern- 
ment is a sort of spontaneous growth so closely bound up with 
the life of a people that we can hardly treat it as a product of 
human will and energy, does, though in a loose and inaccurate 
fashion, bring into view the fact that some polities, and am<Hig 
them the English constitution, have not been created at one 
stroke, and, far from being the result of legislation, in the 
ordinary sense of that term, are the fruit of contests carried on 
in the Courts on behalf of the rights of individuals. Our con- 
stitution, in short, is a judge-made constitution, and it bears 
on its face all the features, good and bad, of judge-made law. 

Hence flow noteworthy distinctions between the constitution 
of England and the constitutions of most foreign countries. 

There is in the English constitution an absence of those 
declarations or definitions of rights so dear to foreign con- 
stitutionalists. Such principles, moreover, as you can discover 
in the English constitution are, like all maxims established by 
judicial legislation, mere generalizations drawn either from the 
decisions or dicta of judges, or from statutes which, being 
passed to meet special grievances, bear a close resemblance 
to judicial decisions, and are in efieot judgments pronounced 
by the High Court of Parliament. To put what is really the 
same thing in a somewhat different shape, the relation of the 
ri^ts of individuals to the principles of the constitution is not 
quite the same in oountries like Belgium, where the constitution 
is the result of a legislative act, as it is in En^and, where the 
constitution itself is based upon legal decisions. In Belgium, 
which may be taken as a type of countries possessing a con* 
stitution formed by a deliberate act of legislation, you may say 
with truth that the rights of individuals to personal liberty 
flow from or are secured by the constitution. In England the 
right to individual liberty is part of the constitution, because 
it is secured by the decisions of the Courts, extended or confirmed 
as they are by the Habeas Corpus Acts. 'If it be allowable to 
apply the formulas of logic to questions of law, the difference 
in this matter between the constitution of Belgium and the 
English constitution may be described by the statement that 
in Belgium individual rights are deductions drawn from the 

^ Mill, RepreaevUative Owemmtid, p. 4. 


principles of the constitution, whilst in England the so-called CHAP, 
principles of the constitution are inductions or generalizations H 
based upon particular decisions pronounced by the Courts as to 
the rights of given indiyiduals. 

This is of course a merely formal difference. Liberty is as 
well secured in Belgium as in England, and as long as this is so 
it matters nothing whether we say that individuals are free from 
all risk of arbitrary arrest, ^because liberty of person is guaranteed 
by the constitution, or that the right to personal freedom, or in 
other words to protection from arbitrary arrest, forms part of the 
constitution because it is secured by the ordinary law of the land. 
But though this merely formal distinction is in itself of no 
moment, provided always that the rights of individuals are really 
secure, the question whether the right to personal freedom or 
the right to freedom of worship is likely to be secure does depend 
a good deal upon the answer to the inquiry whether the persons 
who consciously or unconsciously build up the constitution of 
their country begin with definitions or declarations of rights, or 
with the contrivance of remedies by which rights may be en- 
forced or secured. Now, most foreign constitution-makers have 
begun with declarations of rights. For this they have often 
been in nowise to blame. Their course of action has more often 
than not been forced upon them by the stress of circumstances, 
and by the consideration that to lay down general principles of 
law is the proper and natural function of legislators. But any 
knowledge of history suffices to show that foreign constitu- 
tionalists have^ while occupied in defining rights, given insuffi- 
cient attention to the absolute necessity for the provision of 
adequate remedies by which the rights they proclaimed might 
be enforced. The Oonstitution of 1791 proclaimed liberty of 
conscience, liberty of the press, the right of public meeting, the 
responsibility of government officials.^ But there never was a 
period in the recorded annals of mankind when each and all of 
these rights were so insecure, one might almost say so completely 
non-existent, as at the height of the French Revolution. And 
an observer may well doubt whether a good number of these 
liberties or rights are even now so well protected under the 
French Bepublic as under the English Monarchy. On the other 
band, there runs through the English constitution that insepar- 
able connection between the means of enforcing a right and the 
right to be enforced which is the strength of judicial legislation. 
The saw, ubijus ibi remedium^ becomes from this point of view 
something much more important than a mere tautologous pro- 
position. In its bearing upon constitutional law, it means that 
tbe Englishmen whose labours gradually framed the complicated 
set of laws and institutions which we call the Constitution, fixed 

^ See Flonard, Les GonsUtiUioms fran^iaes^ pp. 14-16 ; Duguit and 
Monnier, LtB CofutUutians de la France (2iid ed.), pp. 4, 5. 


CHAP, their minds far more intently on proTiding remedies for the 
n enf<»oement of particalar rights or (what is merely the same 
thing looked at from the other side) for arerting definite wrongg, 
than upon any declaration of the Ri^ts of Man or of Englishmen. 
The Habeas Carpus Acts dedare no principle and define no ri^ts, 
but they are for practical purposes worth a hundred constitu- 
tional articles gnanmteeing individual liberty. Nm* let it be 
supposed that this connection between rights and remedies which 
depends upon the spirit of law pervading English institutions is 
inconsiBtent with the existence of a written constitution, ix even 
with the existence of constitutional declarations of rights. The 
Constitution of the United States and the constitutions of the 
separate States are embodied in written or printed documents, 
and contain declarations of rights.^ But the statesmen of 
America have shown unrivalled skill in providing means for 
giving legal security to the rights dedared by American constitu- 
tions. The rule of law is as marked a feature of the United 
States as of England. 

The fact, again, that in many foreign countries the rights of 
individuals, e.g. to personal freedom, depend upon the constitu- 
tion, whilst in En^and the law of the constitution is littie else 
than a generalization of the rights which the Courts secure 
to individuals, has this important result. The general rights 
giutfunteed by the constitution may be, and in foreign countries 
constantly are, suspended. They are something extraneous to 
and independent of the ordinary course of the law. The declara- 
tion of the Belgian constitution, that individual liberty is 
'guaranteed,' betrays a way of looking at the rights of indi- 
viduals very different from the way in which such rights are 
regarded by English lawyers. We can hardly say that one right 
is more guaranteed than another. Freedom from arbitrary 

^ The Petition of Bight, and the Bill of Bights, as also the American 
Declarations of Bights, contain, it may be said, proclamations of general 
principles which resemble the declarations of rights known to foreign consti- 
tutionalists, and especially the celebrated Declaration of the Bights of Man 
{DidarcUion des Droits de V Homme et du Citoyen) of 1789. But the English 
and American Declarations on the one hand, and foreign declarations of 
rights on the other, though bearing an apparent resemblance to each other, 
are at bottom remarkable rather by way of contrast than of similarily. The 
Petition of Bight and the Bill of Bights are not so much ' declarations of 
rights ' in the foreign sense of the term, as judicial condemnations of claims 
or practices on the part of the Crown, which are thereby pronounced illegal. 
It will be found that every, or nearly every, clause in the two celebrated 
documents negatives some distinct claim made and put into force on behalf 
of the prerogative. Ko doubt the Declarations contained in the American 
Constitutions have a real similarity to the continental declarations of rights. 
They are the product of eighteenth-century ideas ; they have, however, it is 
submitted, the distinct purpose of legally controlling the action of the 
legislature by the Articles of the Constitution. 


arrest) the right to express one's opinion on all matters subject OHAP. 
to the liability to pay compensation for libellous or to suffer II 
pomshment for seditious or blasphemous statements, and the ^--*v^<i^-^ 
right to enjoy one's own property, seem to Englishmen all to 
rest upon the same basia^ namely, on the law of the land. To 
say that the ' constitution guaranteed ' one class of rights more 
than the other would be to an Englishman an unnatural or a 
senseless form of speech. In the Belgian constitution the words 
have a definite meaning. They imply tliat no law invading 
personal freedom can be passed without a modification of the 
constitution made in the special way in which alone the constitu- 
tion can be legally changed or amended. This, however, is not 
the point to which our immediate attention should be directed. 
The matter to be noted is, that where the right to individual 
freedom is a result deduced from the principles of the constitu- 
tion, the idea readily occurs that the right is capable of being 
suspended or tak^i away. Where, on the other hand, the right 
to individual freedom is part of the constitution because it is 
inherent in the ordinary law of the land, the right is one which 
can hardly be destroyed without a thorough revolution in the 
institutions and manners of the nation. The so-called ' suspen- 
sion of the Hidfeas Corpus Act ' bears^ it is true, a certain similarity 
to what is called in foreign countries ' suspending the constitu- 
tional guarantees.' But^ after all, a statute suspending the Habeas 
Corpus Act falls very far short of what its popular name seems to 
imply ; and though a serious measure enough, is not, in reality, 
more than a suspension of one particular remedy for the prote<^on 
of personal freedom. The Habeas Corpus Act may be suspended 
and yet Englishmen, may enjoy almost all the rights of (AtAzena, 
The constitution being based on the rule of law, the suspension 
of the constitution, as far as such a thing can be conceived 
possible, would mean with us nothing less than a revolution. 

That *rule of law,' then, which forms a fundamental principle 
of the constitution, has three meanings, or may be regarded 
from three different points of view. 

It means, in the first place, the absolute supremacy or Summary 
predominance of regular law as opposed to the influence of of 
arbitrary power, and excludes the existence of arbitrariness, ^^^1°^ 
of prerogative, or even of wide discretionary authority on the of Law. 
part of the government Englishmen are ruled by the law, and 
by the law alone ; a man may with us be punished for a breach 
of law, but he can be punished for nothing else. 

It means, again, equality before the law, or the equal sub- 
jection of all classes to the ordinary law of the land administered 
by the ordinary Law Courts; the 'rule of law' in this sense 
excludes the idea of any exemption of officials or others from 
the duty of obedience to the kw which governs other citizens 
or from the jurisdiction of the ordinary tribunals; there can 




be with ufl nothing really eorrefiponding to the ' administrative 
law' (droit administrai^) or the ' administratiye tribunals' 
{trUmnauz adminutraiifs) of France.^ The notion wkieh ties at 
the bottom of the ' administratiye law' known to foreign 
countries is, that affairs or disputes in which the gorMmmmt 
or its servants are concerned are beyond the sphere of the civil 
Courts and must be dealt with by special and more or less 
official bodies. This idea is utterly unknown to the law of 
England, and indeed is fundamentally inconsistent with our 
traditions and customs. 

The 'rale of law,' lastly, may be used as a formula for 
expressing the fact that with us the law of the constitution, 
the rules which in foreign countries naturally form part of a 
constitutionid code, are not the source but the consequence 
of the rights of individuals, as defined and enforced by the 
Courts ; that, in short, the principles of private kw have with 
us been by the action of the Courts and Parliament so extended 
as to determine the position of the Crown and of its servants ; 
thus the constitution is the result of the ordinary law of the 

Influence General propositions, however, as to the nature of the rule 

of * Rule of qI \^yf carry us but a very little way. If we want to understand 
leading what that principle in all its different aspects and developments 
provisions really means, we must try to trace its influence throughout 
^tt^S ^otb^ of the main provisions of the constitution. The best 
mode of doing this is to examine with care the manner in 
Which the law of Ikigland deals with the following topics, 
namely, the right to personal freedom ; ^ the light to freedom 
of discussion ; ^ the right of pnblio meeting ; ^ the use of martial 
law ; ^ the rights and duties of the artny -, ^ the collection and 
expenditure of the public revenue;^ and the responsibility of 
Ministers.^ The true nature, further, of the rule of law as it 
exists in England will be illustrated by contrast with the idea 
of droU administraiify or administrative law, which prevails in 
many continental countries.^ These topics will each be treated 
of in their due order. The object, however, of this treatase, as 
the reader should remember, is hot to provide minute and ifull 
information, e.ff. as to thd Habms Corpus Acts, or other enact- 
ments protectitig the liberty of the subject; but simply to 
show that these leading heads of constitutional law, which 
have been enumerated, these 'articles,' so to speak, of the 
constitution, are both governed by, and afford illustrations of, 
the supremacy throughout English institutions of the law of 

* See chap. xii. 

* Chap. tii. 
■^ Ohap. X. 

* Chap. y. 
 Chap. viii. 
^ Chap. xi. 

» Chap. yi. 
• Chap. ijc. 
' Chap. xii. 


the land.^ If at Bome future day the law of the constitution CHAP, 
should be codified, each of the topics I have mentioned would n 
be dealt with by the sections of the code. Many of these 
subjects are actually dealt with in the written constitutions of 
foreign countries, and notably in the articles of the Belgian 
constitution, which, as before noticed, makes an admirable 
summary of the leading maxims of English constitutionalism. 
It will therefore often be a convenient method of illustrating 
our topic to take the article of the Belgian, or it may be of 
Bomh other constitution, which bears on the matter in hand, as 
for example the right to personal freedom, and to consider 
how far the principle therein embodied is recognized by the 
law of England ; and if it be so recognized, what are the means 
by which it is maintained or enforced by our Courts. One 
reason why the law of the constitution is imperfectly understood 
is, that we too rarely put it side by side with the constitutional 
provisions of other countries. Here, as elsewhere, comparison 
is essential to recognition. 





' By the statute 1 William and Mary, usually known as the See page 
Bill of Rights, it was finally settled that there could be no ^^' 
taxation in this country except under authority of an Act of 
Parliament. The Bill of Rights still remained unrepealed, 
and no practice or custom, however prolonged or however 
acquiesced in on the part of the subject, could be relied on 
by the Grown as justifying any infringement of its provisions. 
It followed that with regard to the powers of the Crown to 
levy taxation no resolution, either of the Committee for Ways 
and Means or of the House itself, had any legal effect whatever. 
Such resolutions were necessitated by a Parliamentary procedure 
adopted with a view to the protection of the subject against the 
hasty imposition of taxes, and it would be strange to find them 

^ The rule of equal law is in England now exposed to a new peril. * The 
Legislature has thought fit/ writes Sir F. Pollock, 'by the Trade Disputes 
Act, 1906, to confer extraordinary immunities on combinations both of 
employers and of workmen, and to some extent on persons acting in their 
interests. Legal science has evidently notliing to do with this violent 
empirical operation on the body politic, and we can only look to jurisdictions 
beyond seas for the further judicial consideration of the problems which 
our Courts were endeavouring (it is submitted, not without a reasonable 
measure of success) to work out on principles of legal justice.' — Pollock, 
Law of Torts (8th ed.), p. v. 


CHAP, relied on as justifying the Crown in levying a tax before such 
n tax was actually imposed by Act of Parliament 

'His Lordship did not^ however, understand that the 
Attorney-General on behalf of the Crown really dissented from 
this position/ ^ 

The Attorney-General having failed to convince the Court 
that the tax had been authorized by law at the time of levying 
it, judgment was given against the Crown. 

' Mr. Justice Parker in Bowles v. Bank of England^ Times Law Keports, 
Not. 5, 1912. 



As soon as the Greeks had learned to base govemment chap. 

• III 

on the experience of the governed, European society v.^^,,,,^^ 

began to progress. Asia, on the other hand, clinging Results of 
to the idea that the existing order was divinely f^^^us 
ordained, remained stationary, so that civilization chapters 
was parted into two camps, each of which contended ized. The 
for mastery with the other. But Greece developed ^^d""'"**' 
the commonwealth in a form too delicate to survive ^^ 
the struggle, and Rome, in organizing a state strong jjj^^^^ 
enouorh to save her own civilization, resorted to cjonflict 

by the 

despotism, under which the patriotism essential to its opening of 
vitaUty perished. Eventually its Western half was ^^^^^^^^ 
destroyed by German barbarians. They, however, 
revived the Empire in a form which prevented them 
from realizing the unity of a state, and failed, there- 
fore, to develop a national law of their own, to 
recognize law as the supreme authority, or to learn 
how to mould it by the general experience of the 
community. The seed of the commonwealth, inherent 
in Grerman custom, failed to fructify in mediaeval 
Europe, and was overgrown and stifled by the despotic 
law and tradition inherited from Rome. This was 
the theme of the first chapter of this inquiry, and the 
second chapter has explained how German custom 
came to take root in the British Isles and there 
developed a law and a polity which were essentially 



CHAP. Teutonic. It was in England that the principle of 
the commonwealth, which had perished with the 
Greek and Roman republics, was once more realized, 
but in a form which transcended the narrow limitations 
imposed upon it, as the ancients believed, by Nature 
herself Their inherent capacity for change — the 
necessary condition of growth — never deserted the 
people of Europe, and saved them from reverting to 
the condition of Asiatics. But the kind of state 
which not merely admits but actually stimulates 
growth was revived in England and not on the 
Continent. European civilization differs from that 
of Asia as one genus from another. In England the 
fundamental characteristics of the European genus 
were so developed as to form a distinctive species. 
Thus, at the close of the Middle Ages, the West had 
produced two main varieties of civilization which 
might have lived side by side without mutual conflict 
if new oceans and continents had not suddenly been 
opened as a field in which the exclusive claims of the 
one imposed upon the other a struggle for existence. 
The apple of discord which fell into the garden of the 
Hesperides and roused the nations to contend for its 
possession was the Wcwrld itself. 
Opening Throughout the Middle Ages the people of Europe, 

World ignoring the regions and races that lay beyond it, 
ab^ut^by thought of themselvcs as the universe.^ Meantime, 
Europe's howcvcr, their increasing; control over physical 

increasing i • t i i i 

control nature was destined, by enlarging their outlook and 
physical revolutionizing the conditions of life, to bring the 
Middle Ages to a close. They suddenly discovered 
how to navigate the high seas, reached the continents 
that lay beyond them, and became conscious of their 
own capacity to dominate them. But in extending 
to a larger world their now diverging systems they 
found themselves in collision. 

* See p. 83, 



This world-wide revolution was introduced by chap. 

another most dangerous attempt from Asia to ^^,,„.,^^.^^ 

submerge Europe. The events which precipitated changes 
the struggle between Europe and England for the SiS^by 
mastery of the world were themselves but a phase encroLh- 
of * that Eternal Question between West and East ' ^ ^^i^ 
which was opened by the wars between Greece and on the 
Persia. It was the destruction of the last remnants ^^ 
of the Eastern Roman Empire by the Turks which 
more than anything else drove Europe to the mari- 
time enterprise by which every ocean and shore on 
the face of this planet have in the last four centuries 
been exposed to the action of its civilization. Whether 
that influence was to be exerted in its Continental or 
in its Anglo-Saxon form was a matter which affected 
the other continents more vitally, perhaps, than 
Europe itself. 

The Holy Roman Empire did little enough to keep Fail of 
order in Europe ; but it did even less to protect tmopie 
Christendom against invasion jBcom without. Happily *u^^^" 
for Europe, its gate was long guarded by the Eastern ^^?f^^° 
or Byzantine portion of the Roman Empire which £|r 
survived for almost 1000 years after Odoacer ex- 
tinguished the original Empire of the West. In 
1204 the Crusaders paused in their advance against 
the Infidel to inflict on their fellow -Christians at 
Constantinople a blow from which the Byzantine 
Empire never recovered. In 1453 its capital was 
stormed by the Turks, and the last of the Caesars feU, 
buried beneath the bodies of his subjects. As when 
the Persians passed Thermopylae, and as when the 
Franks con&onted the Saracens in the heart of 
France, so again the invading hordes of Asia swept 
across the natural frontiers of Europe to the gates of 
Vienna. Greece, the Aegean Islands, and the whole 
Balkan Peninsula were ground beneath their heel, and 

^ 'Bee page 28. 


CHAP. Christendom, which had long wrestled with Islam for 

the sanctuary of her faith, now abandoned to that 

militant creed countries which had been the cradle 

of her civilization. To this hour the position of the 

Turk in Europe has remained the most difficult and 

dangerous of the problems which divide the world 

into armed camps. 

ThefaUof In all the history of Roman rule no event was 

tinopie iraught with consequences more far-reaching than 

stimulated j^g ^^^ extinction at Constantinople. Byzantine 

Kenaia- scholars fled, with such of their manuscripts as they 

Reforma. could Carry, to the schools of Europe where the 

cimedthe literature of ancient Greece was now being studied 

*™;^? Jf ™" anew. Western civilization was stirred by a freshet 

munica- •^ 

tionswith from its primitive source which produced the 

the Blast. . 

Renaissance in art and the Reformation in morals 
and religion. Still greater was the revolution which 
followed in the sphere of practical affairs. The 
Turkish invasion had blocked the routes by which 
precious, and therefore portable, articles of com- 
merce had been brought from the East. While the 
statesmen and soldiers of Europe were consider- 
ing how the tide of Asiatic invasion could be 
stemmed, her mariners and merchante were asking 
whether there was no other route by which this 
ancient and most profitable commerce might be 
Naval Both thesc objects were ultimately achieved by a 

against revolutiou of a different order from the social, 
jtctecFby J^^ligi^^s, or political movements which had deflected 
Henry the humau affairs in the past. Europe had now reached 
the stage when an increasing control over physical 
forces was beginning to influence the course of history, 
and her problems, political as well as commercial, were 
to find their solution in the enterprise of a royal 
inventor. Henry the Navigator was the fifth child 
of John I., King of Portugal, by his English queen, 


Philippa, daughter of John of Gaunt. On coining chap. 
of age he won his spurs in 1415 at the capture of 
Ceuta, a stronghold of Islam opposite Gibraltar, 
There he gained the applause of Europe by quelling 
a Moorish sortie single-handed, and the Pope, the 
Emperor, and the kings of England and Castile vied 
with each other in offering him distinguished com- 
mands. But the fall of Ceuta had turned his 
thoughts in another direction. Gold, ivory, and 
tropical products, drawn from the regions of the 
Niger, furnished the means by which the Moors made 
war on Christendom. The idea of reaching these 
countries by sea so as to take the Moors in the rear 
and divert their wealth to Christian uses was con- 
ceived by Prince Henry ; and, as his biographer 
Azurara adds, he greatly desired to plant the Catholic 
faith among the heathen there lying in a state 
of perdition. History reveals him striding like a 
colossus with one foot planted in the Middle Ages 
and the other on the world of to-day. His aims 
were those of a crusader, but his methods those 
of modern invention and research. *The three 
motives of Prince Henry — enmity to the Moslems, 
mercantile enterprise, and missionary zeal — profoundly 
influenced the whole history of the Portuguese in 
the East. As he aimed at outflanking the Moors in 
Africa by exploring down its western coast, so his 
greatest successors aimed at outflanking the Ottoman 
Empire by dominating the Red Sea.' * In solving the 
problems of their age they created those peculiar to 
our own. 

Up tt) the time of Henry the Navigator mariners His work 
had mainly relied upon the oar, regarding sails merely ["g the art 
as an auxiliary mode of propulsion for use only when ^foS*^^" 
the winds were moderate and favourable. The art 
of sailing, especially against head winds, was but 

* Hunter, A History of British India^ vol. i. p. 73. 


CHAP, little developed, for it was not possible to design a 
ship really suited for the purpose so long as it had 
also to be pierced for oars. The development of 
sails was just as &tal to the retention of oars as the 
development of steam power to the retention of yards 
and rigging. Ships built for rowing are dangerous 
craft in high seas, and so long as their motive power 
was furnished by human sinews a relatively large 
crew had to be carried and a corresponding space 
reserved for their necessary victual. For this reason 
it was difficult for the rowed galley to go any great 
distance from ports where supplies could be obtained. 
Galleys had long braved the ocean off the coasts of 
Spain, France, and Britain within measurable reach 
of civilized harbours. But the project now proposed 
by the Prince required ships which could face 
Atlantic storms off savage and inhospitable shores 
and dispense with frequent access to friendly ports. 
For such voyages a type of vessel which was in- 
dependent of oars was essential. Not content, more- 
over, that his mariners should depend upon the sight 
of land for the direction of their course, he set to 
work to devise instruments and methods wherewith to 
recc^nize their position on the open sea and find a 
path across it. To these objects he dedicated his life 
when in 1418, at the ag^ of twenty-four, he turned 
his back on the world and * retired to the wind-swept 
promontory of Sagres at the southern extremity of 
Portugal. On that barren spur of rocks and shifting 
sands and stunted juniper, with the roar of the ocean 
for ever in his ears, and the wide Atlantic before him 
inviting discovery from sunrise to sunset, he spent 
his remaining forty-two years, a man of one high 
aim, without wife or child. Amid its solitudes he 
built the first observatory in Portugal, established 
a naval arsenal, and founded a school for navigation, 
marine mathematics, and chart-making. Thither he 


invited the most skilful pilots and scientific sailors chap. 
of Christendom, from Bruges near the North Sea to "^ 
Grenoa and Venice on the Mediterranean. Thence, 
too, he sent forth at brief intervals exploring expedi- 
tions into the unknown South : expeditions often 
unfruitful, sometimes calamitous, even denounced 
as folly and waste, but which won the African coast 
as an outlying empire for Portugal. He died at 
Cape St. Vincent in 1460, having expended bis own 
fortune together with his splendid revenues as Grand 
Master of the military Order of Christ on the task, 
and pledged his credit for loans which he left as a 
debt of honour to his nation. His tomb, in the same 
beautiful chapel where his English mother rests at' 
Batalha, bears by the side of his' own arms as a royal 
prince of Portugal, the motto and device of the 
Garter conferred on him by our Henry VL, and the 
cross of the Portuguese Order of Christ. On the 
frieze, entwined with evergreen oak, runs the motto 
which he solemnly adopted in young manhood — 
Talent de hien /aire, the resolve to do greatly. 
The king, wrote Diogo Gomez, *' together with all 
his people mourned greatly over the death of so 
great a prince, when they considered all the expedi- 
tions which he had set on foot" — in the words of 
his monument on the gateway of Fort Sagres, *' to 
lay open the regions of West Africa across the sea, 
hitherto not traversed by man, that thence a passage 
might be made round Africa to the most distant 
parts of the East."'' 

His squadrons, however, continued their explora- Result of 
tions under three successive sovereigns of his house, woric7* 
and rapidly pushed their way down the African coast. J/^q^** 
In 1471 they passed the equator, and in 1484 reached Hope 
the Congo. In 1486 Bartholomew Dias was carried by Dias, 
by a storm beyond the sight of land, round the 

* Hnnter, A History cf Briiish Indian vol. i. pp. 62-4. 



CHAP, southern point of Africa, and reached the Great Fish 


River, north of Algoa Bay. On his return journey 
he saw the prpmontory which divides the oceans, as 
the narrow waters of the Bosphorus divide the 
continents of the East and West. As in the crowded 
streets of Constantinople, so here, if anywhere, at 
this awful and solitary headland the elements of 
two hemispheres meet and contend. As Dias saw 
it, so he named it, 'The Cape of Storms.' But his 
master, John IL, seeing in the discovery a promise 
that India, the goal of the national ambition, would 
be reached, named it with happier augury ' The Cape 
of Good Hope.' No fitter name could have been 
given to that turning-point in the history of 
mankind. Europe, in truth, was on the brink of 
achievements destined to breach barriers, which had 
enclosed and diversified the nations since the making 
of the World, and commit them to an intercourse 
never to be broken again so long as the World 
endures. That good rather than evil may spring 
therefrom is the greatest of all human responsi- 
bilities, and one which rests and must long continue 
to rest with Europeans. Nor can they, in leaving 
Europe, leave it behind. It follows them wheresoever 
they go — a task which needs for its fulfilment a faith 
unshakable as that mighty Cape. 
India In 1497 Vasco da Gama sailed from the little 

^co^da^ chapel built by Prince Henry on the Tagus that 
Gamam mariners might receive the Sacrament as they came 
Crusading and Went. Kounding the Cape, on Christmas Day he 
of his sighted the Bluff" which now shelters Durban, and 
expedition. ^^^^^ ^hc couutry Terra Natalis. In 1498 he reached 

Calicut on the coast of India, and founded the 
Eastern Empire of the Portuguese. * The expedition 
struck, however, a chord of Portuguese national 
feeling. Both King and people regarded it as a 
continuation of the Crusades : a crusade on a larger 


scale and with better prospects of plunder. Camoens chap. 
opens the seventh Book of his Lusiad by reproaching .^^.^^^^.^ 
Germany, England, France and Italy for their cold- 
ness to the sacred cause; calls them once more to 
Holy War; and shames their silence by declaring 
that Portugal will single-banded fight the battle of 

In the long straggle for the mastery of their own Oraeitiea 
soil the Iberian Crusaders had caught from Islam the Portu- 
fierce fanaticism of its spirit. Among the 1200 ^®^ 
warriors sent by King Emmanuel to follow up the . 
discovery of Vasco da Gama were included a band of 
friars, and the commander of the expedition received 
the following instructions: 'Before he attacked the 
Moors and idolators of those parts with the material 
and secular sword, he was to allow the priests and 
monks to use their spiritual sword, which was to 
declare to them the Gospel . . . and convert them to 
the faith of Christ. . . . And should they be so con- 
tumacious as not to accept this law of faith . . . and 
should they forbid commerce and exchange ... in 
that case they should put them to fire and sword, and 
carry on fierce war against them.' ^ Gentler counsels 
were, however, not wholly wanting. Bishop Osorio 
blamed Almeida, who commanded the Portuguese 
forces from, 1503 to 1509, for the torture and 
massacre of prisoners after the battle of Diu, and 
censured a captain who in 1507, ignoring the 
Portuguese passport which they carried, seized an 
Arab crew, sewed them up in sails, and threw them 
into the sea. But little was done to mitigate the 
horrors of the struggle. 'Almeida "blew his prisoners 
from guns before Cannanore, saluting the town with 
their fragments." On the capture of Brava, the 
Portuguese soldiers "barbarously cut off the hands 

' Hunter, A History of BrUith India, toI. i. p. 90. 

* IHi, vol. i p. 188, quoting from De B&itob, decade i lib. v. cap. i 





to reach 
Asia by 
the West 
led to liis 
of West 
1492, and 

which he 
for Asia. 

and ears of women, to take off their bracelets and 
earrings, to save time in taking them off." These 
were not exceptional' barbarities. The permanent 
attitude of the Portuguese to all Asiatics who resisted 
was void of compunction. To quote a few examples 
from contemporary manuscripts ; a letter to the King 
of Portugal in 1518 speaks of the people of Dabul as 
" dogs " who " do not want but the sword in hand." 
In 1535, at the capture of the petty island of Mete 
near Diu, " aU were killed, without allowing a single 
one to live, and for this reason it was henceforward 
called the Island of the Dead." In 1540 the 
Zamorin was compelled to agree to cast out of his 
dominions all who would not accept the terms 
imposed, " and if they should not wish to go, he will 
order them to be killed." In 1546, says the official 
report of the siege of Diu, " we spared no life, whether 
of women or children." ' ^ The kings of Portugal 
claimed to be lords of the East; but their actual 
conquests in India were in fact limited to the tiny 
area of Goa which the Portuguese Republic holds 
to-day. Their real and substantial achievement was 
the dominion of the Eastern Seas. 

While Portugal was opening the route to Asia 
by sea, Spain, in search of the same object, had 
stumbled upon the New World. Coluipbus, by his 
marriage to the daughter of one of Prince Henry's 
commanders, got access to bis nautical journals, maps, 

^ Hunter, A History of British India, vol. L pp. 139-40. The allegations 
of cruelty are based on the following original authorities : Stanley's Three 
Voyages of Vasco da Gama, xxix.-zxxii, Hakluyt Society, 1867. Damiao de 
Goes {Chronica do Felicissimo Bey Dom Manoet, Lisl^on, 1566-1567, Stanley, tU 
supray xxxiii.). Asia Portuguesa, Lisbon, 3 vols., 1666-1675 (The Portuguese 
Asia of Manuel de Faria y Sousa, translated by Captain John Stevens, 
London, 3 vols., 1695, voL i. p. 116). Letter from Joao de Lima for the 
King, dated Cochin, December 22, 1518 (India Office MSS.). Contract 
between the King of Gujarat and Nuno da Cunha, Captain -General and 
Governor of India, dated October 25, 1585, footnote (India Office MSS.). 
Contract between the Viceroy Dom Garcia and 'the King of Calicut^' dated 
January 1, 1540 (India Office MSS.). Letter of Manuel Rodrigues for the 
King, dated Diu, November 24, 1546 (India Office MSS.). 


and instruments. Rightly conceiving the world to chap. 
be a sphere, he concluded that Asia might be reached 
by way of the West. Failing, however, to secure the 
support of the Portuguese king, he placed his services 
at the disposal of 8pain, and in 1492 discovered in 
the West Indian Islands the outworks of the American 
continent. In a series of voyages covering the next 
twelve years he reached the coast of South America 
and founded a Spanish Empire there and in the West 

Columbus always believed himself to have dis- c^bot's 
covered the west coast of Asia, and died without of North 
knowing that in searching for an old continent he f^^^, 
had brought to light a new one. It was in the ^^^^ 
same quest that Cabot had in 1497 discovered North Pacific 
America for England on behalf of certain Bristol byBBiboa 
merchants holding a patent from Henry VII. His r^' i. 
contemporaries believed that he had gained for her V^^ of 
' a great part of Asia, without a stroke of the sword.' ^ as a 
The real character of the discovery was realized when wB^in^t. 
in 1513 Vasio Nunez de Balboa (not Cortes, as Keats 
supposed), surmounting the Isthmus of Panama — 

stared at the Pacific — and all hie men 
Look'd at each other with a wild surmise — 
Silent, upon a peak in Darien. « 

Then, at length, Europe realized that America was 
not the extremity of the ancient world. It was as 
though some new planet had swum into her ken. 
By plunging into the sea, Balboa sought to annex the 
ocean itself to the kingdom of Spain. 

In 1519 Cortes landed with about 700 men on Conquest 
the coast of Mexico, and in scarcely more than a pacifi"*^^' 
year was master of the Mexican Empire. Some J|^"®^^^ 
twelve years later Pizarro landed in Peru, and the 1620. 
Empire of the Incas collapsed before an invasion of navigation 

of the 
> Hunter, A History of BrUWi India, vol. i. p. 195, quoting letter from ^^^^^^^^ 
Raimondo de Soncino to the Duke of Milan, 18th December 1497. shins 





ence of 
tal dis- 
on govern- 
ment sup- 
port. Divi- 
sion of 
their dis- 
Spain and 
by the 

183 men. Seldom has the mastery over physical 
forces achieved by Europe been exhibited with more 
startling eflfect. The native civilizations of America 
shivered at the first blow. 'Whether the pitcher 
touches the iron or the iron the pitcher, it is bad for 
the pitcher/ as the Spaniards say, and no earthen- 
ware vessel, however great it may be, will long 
withstand the blows of a hammer. Europe conquered 
America by reason of the same qualities which had 
enabled it to repel the successive hordes which 
swarmed against it from Asia. Helps and Frescott 
have recounted the barbarities of these conquests, 
which were worse even than those perpetrated in the 
East by the Portuguese. It is needless to dwell upon 
them here. Meantime the belief of Columbus that 
Asia could be reached by the West had been justified, 
for in 1520 Magellan had passed the straits which 
now bear his name, crossed the ocean upon which 
Balboa had looked, and reached the Philippines. 
There he perished ; but one of his ships, the Vittoria^ 
returned by the Cape of Good Hope, and thus 
demonstrated the theory held by Columbus that the 
World was round. 

It is important to note the absolute dependence 
on royal patronage of explorers like Vasco da Gama, 
Columbus, and Magellan. Their fleets were provided 
by kings, who, in financing these expeditions, had 
no thpughts of opening new trade routes for any 
but themselves. The lands discovered, as well as 
the wealth to be drawn from them, they not un- 
naturally regarded as a prize, to be shared with 
their subjects perhaps, but certainly not with aliens. 
The title claimed by the Crown of Portugal over 
Africa and the East, and by that of Spain over 
America and its adjacent islands, was an exclusive 
one. Their claims, moreover, had received a sanction 
which mediaeval Europe accepted as the ultimate 



source of all human authority. In a Bull dated the ^^ap. 
4th of May 1493, Pope Alexander VI. assigned to 
the kings of Spain * All the main lands and islands 
found or to be found, discovered or to be discovered, 
toward the west and south, drawing a line from the 
Arctic pole to the Antarctic pole, that is, from the 
north to the south, Containing in this donation, 
whatsoever main lands or islands are found or to be 
found toward India, or toward any other part whatso- 
ever it be, being distant from, or without the aforesaid 
line drawn a hundred leagues toward the west and 
south from any of the islands which are commonly 
called De los Azores and Cape Verde. All the 
islands therefore, and main lands, found and to be 
found, discovered and to be discovered, from the said 
line toward the west and south, such as have not 
actually been heretofore possessed by any other 
Christian King or Prince, until the day of the nativity 
of our Lord Jesus Christ last past, from the which 
beginneth this present year, being the year of our 
Lord M.CCCC.LXXXXIII., whensoever any shall be 
found by your messengers and captains, We by the 
authority of Almighty God granted unto us in Saint 
Peter, and by the office which we bear on the earth 
in the stead of Jesus Christ, do for ever by the 
tenour of these presents', give, grant, and assign unto 
you, your heirs and successors (the Kings of Castile 
and Leon), all these lands and islands, with their 
dominions, territories, cities, castles, towers, places, 
and villages, with all the right and jurisdiction there- 
unto pertaining : constituting, assigning, and deputing 
you, your heirs and successors, the lords thereof, with 
full and free power, authority, and jurisdiction. . . . 
We furthermore inhibit all manner of persons, of 
what state, degree, order, or condition soever they be, 
although of Imperial and regal dignity, under the 
pain of the sentence of excommuniccUion which they 


OHAP. shall incur if they do to the contrary^ that they in 
no case presume, without special licence of yOu, your 
heirs and successors, to travel for merchandise or for 
any other cause, to the said lands or islands, found or 
to be found, discovered or to be discovered, towards 
the west and south/ ^ 

A year later Spain and Portugal agreed in a treaty 
(for which they asked and received the sanction of 
the Pope) to move the line 270 leagues further West, 
with the result that Brazil ultimately fell to the 
share of Portugal. The subsequent voyage of 
Magellan, though proving the necessity of a second 
line to divide the Eastern frontiers of the two 
empires, did nothing to impair the effect of the Papal 
awards in appropriating Africa, America, and Asia to 
the two Iberian kingdoms. The other nations of 
Euro4)e were legally limited thereby to their own 
territorial waters. From the high seas the English 
were excluded with the rest, except in so far as they 
might dare to ignore sanctions which were then 
regarded as binding on Christendom. 
Authority In the theory of the Middle Ages inherited from 
Papacy in- Imperial Rome the Pope was regarded as the inter- 
8 iQand ^**i^^^l lawgiver, and the Emperor as the secular 
Portugal authority whose function it was to enforce the Papal 
to them- commands. How far Europe accepted the latter side 
monop^^y ^^ ^^^^ theory has already been seen. But the fall 
of their q£ Constantinople had stimulated influences which 
coveries. were leading the Northern races to question it 
why this The study of Greek originals gave rise to a question- 
qu™ ^*" i^g ^^ accepted canons and was an important factor 
tionecL \j^ ^jje wholc Renaissance movement. At the same 
juncture the unity of the Church was broken by 
Luther, who, in 1517, published his theses at Witten- 
berg. In 1534 an Act was passed in England 
repudiating the authority of Rome, and in 1536 

* Weare, Cabot* s Discovery of North AmeHca, pp. 67-8. 


Calvin published the Institutio Christianae religionis. ohap. 
Protestantism spread to the Netherlands, and in 1568 s..^.,..^^.^^ 
led to their revolt from Spain. The Papal award 
ceased, so far as England, Holland, and the Northern 
States of Germany were concerned, to possess the 
sanction of international law, and thereafter its 
validity depended on the physical forces which could 
be marshalled to support it — on the fleets which 
Spain or Portugal could oppose to those of Holland 
and Britain. 

To the Spaniards and Portuguese of the sixteenth Natm-e of 

I century, their right to reserve to themselves the at stXi!^ 

continents they had opened must have appeared too 
plain for argument. The claims advanced by the 
mariners of other nations to share the fruits of their 

I enterprise must indeed have seemed to violate the 

fundamental religious and political conceptions of 
the age; for were they not contrary to the verdict 
of the court divinely instituted for the final adjudica- 
tion of human affairs ? It was a conflict, not merely 
of interests, but of ideals. The cause for which the 
Portuguese and Spaniards fought with such^ valour 
was even more sacred to them than the opposite cause 
to their EngUsh opponents. Had wealth alone been 
the object of the struggle, compromise might have 
been possible; for wealth, at any rate, is capable 
of division. But more than wealth was at stake. 
In the course of ages two sections of Europe had 
developed their social structures on principles so 
different as to be mutually incompatible as soon as 
both were committed to a common field of activity. 
The Spanish right to monopolize the newly opened 
world was justified by the political theory of the 
Continent. England had rejected that theory and 
challenged the monopoly based upon it, because it 
would have closed to her enterprise the resources 
which alone could enable so small a state to survive 


CHAP, in the straggle for existence. Either party was 
^^^ contending for the trade of the world, the one to 
eugross it, the other to share it. But the passion 
men have for maintaining or extending their own 
manner of life was the ultimate motive behind the 
contest, and the rivalry for trade was really a 
struggle for the resources required to realize a 
cherished ideal. Spaniards and Englishmen seized 
wealth wherever they could find it; but to Drake 
and his captains the liberties of their country were 
dearer than life, and so also to the Spaniards were 
the ideals and traditions of Spain. Of necessity the 
champions of ideals fight for the material resources 
or physical positions by which alone those ideals can 
be held. To us it is clear as day that the question 
which mattered was how far the future inhabitants 
of the World were to inherit the principles of auto- 
cracy or freedom. But the combatants who met in 
the twilight of the dawn can scarcely have discerned 
the vastness of the issues their valour would decide. 
The issues It is instructive to compare these issues with those 
to"t^^ which, three centuries later, brought the South of the 
of the United States into conflict with the North. There, 

Amencan . -m n i • • • i 

Civil War. as lu Europc, two mutually destructive principles, 
the one based on freedom, the other on slavery, had 
in separate though adjacent territories brought into 
being two systems of society which might long have 
continued side by side without serious consequences 
if the opening of the West had not raised the question 
whether its vacant territories were to be developed 
on the basis of free or slave labour. The two prin- 
ciples then came into collision in a way that admitted 
of no compromise. Each side believed itself to be 
right with such sincerity that thousands were ready 
to die for their belief. The wars, indeed, which have 
shaped human destiny cannot be simply represented 
as struggles between right and wrong, for the real 


antagonists who had to be reckoned with on either ohap. 

side have been men who deemed certain principles of ,^^^,^^^.,,^ 

greater value than their lives. But the issues which, 

in truth, cause such wars are generally obscured by 

the trivial and often sordid interests which are the 

occasion of the actual outbreak. This was often the 

case in the three centuries of contest between Europe 

and England for the dominion of the new continents 

and seas which followed the discoveries of Vasco da 

Gama and Christopher Columbus. 

. In the Middle Ages, which were now closing, The 

England had taken her part in the scramble of con- plSm^o 

tinental nations for territory at the cost of her ^°?^\he 

nearest neighbours. From the sixteenth century she Ji^®^^^^^^ 

abandoned these ambitions once for all. * Clear- by 

sighted persons at Court advised, as early as the "^*^ * 

reign of Henry VIII., a policy of colonial enterprise 

in place of interference in the continental wars. 

" Let us," they said, " in God's name, leave off our 

attempts against the terra jirma^ as the natural 

situation of islands seems not to suit with conquests 

of that kind. Or, when we would enlarge ourselves, 

let it be that way we can, and to which, it seems the 

eternal providence has destined us, which is by sea. 

The Indies are discovered, and vast treasure brought 

from thence every day. Let us, therefore, bend our 

endeavours thitherwards ; and if the Spaniards and 

Portuguese suffer us not to join with them, there 

will yet be region enough for all to enjoy." ' ^ But 

these clear-sighted persons were ignoring the terms 

of the Papal Bull of 1514, in accordance with which 

all the continents opened to Europe by the discoveries 

of Columbus and Vasco da Gama were closed except 

to Spain and Portugal. That monopoly had first to be 

^ Hunter, A History of British IndiOj vol. i. p. 223. The quotation is 
from Maopherson's Annals, svh anno 1611, ii. 89, on the anthority of Lord 


CHAP, broken, and when in 1580 Portugal was absorbed by 
^^^ Spain the issue lay between England and that country. 
To Philip of Spain, England by her final separation 
from Rome had become ' the necessary object of 
another Holy War/^ While renouncing their spiritual 
allegiance to Rome, the Tudor sovereigns for a time 
shrank from challenging her authority in international 
law. But the Protestant spirit of England was rising, 
and in 1578 Drake, openly disregarding the Papal 
award, rounded Cape Horn, burst into the Pacific, 
visited the Moluccas, and returned to England by the 
Cape of Good Hope. An open rupture with Philip 
was now inevitable, and in order to challenge the 
Spanish monopoly, Elizabeth was at length forced to 
deny the validity of the Pope's award, which she 
presently described as a disputed 'donation of the 
Bishop of Rome.' 'Prescription,' she asserted in 
1580, 'without possession availeth nothing.'^ In 
words that anticipate the dawning problem of aerial 
navigation she argued that ' the use of the sea and 
air is common to all ... as neither nature, nor public 
use and custom permitteth any possession thereof.'^ 
And, in truth, no smaller principle than the freedom 
of the high seas was at stake. For in forbidding the 
ships of any nation but Spain and Portugal to visit 
countries, whether known or unknown, across the 
seas opened by Henry the Navigator, the Papacy 
practically closed the ocean beyond the territorial 
waters of Europe. All seas but those three miles 
from the land (with the exception of certain recognized 
maria clausa) have so long been regarded as a 
common heritage and a pathway open to all, that 
men are prone to forget that the right was ever 
denied. It is a principle now rooted in the moral 

* EgertoD, British Colonial Policy^ p. 16. * Ihid. p. 16. 

' Hunter, A History of British India, vol, i. p. 207, quoting Oamden, 
HisUyry of Elizabeth, p. 256 fed. 1675). 


habits of mankind, but to make it so the principle chap. 
had once to be asserted by force, v-^i-^^-.^ 

How came it that so small a people as the English whv Eng- 
were able to assert this freedom for themselves in iweto" 
successive contests against the greatest powers of wsertthe 

o G r ^ freedom 

Western Europe ? Again the answer to this question of the sea. 
must be sought in the insular character of their home, her navy. 
The sea, which sheltered them from the armies which fh^J^r- 
were devastating the Protestant states of Europe and ^^^^^ °^ 

o i sea-power. 

conserved their energies, had also accustomed them 
to the handling of ships. Henry the Navigator had 
inaugurated an epoch in which that kind of skill was 
to count for more than the power of great autocracies 
to pour troops into the field. Before the sixteenth 
century was half spent the English were the people of 
Europe who knew best how to cross the ocean and 
hold their own against any power which sought to 
oppose them on that element. Henry VIII. created 
the English navy, and scarcely a year of his reign 
passed without seeing fresh improvements in the build 
and armament of his ships. Capacity to devise new 
means to meet changing needs is the natural fruit 
of freedom. It now began to tell in favour of the 
English as against the Spaniards, and ere Henry VIII. 
closed his reign his navy was the most powerful on 
the seas. The struggle for world power was to be 
fought on an element where the wealth and daring 
of an island race, inspired by the enterprise and 
patriotism which free institutions beget, outbalanced 
the advantage which their vastly superior numbers 
gave to the continental kingdoms. In conquests by 
land the mere number of soldiers available is of 
paramount importance, for troops must be detached 
to hold the roads behind an invading army so that it 
shrinks at every stage of its advance into an enemy's 
country. With maritime warfare it is otherwise. 
Th^ combatants are confined to the decks of ships, 




Defeat of 


The secret 
of sea- 
ignored by 

and the ships can be moved at will to any part of the 
ocean, so that the stronger navy can hunt down t^e 
weaker and destroy it. In doing thiB a fleet is not, 
like an army, continuously weakened by having to 
shed part of its forces to protect the route behind it. 
Without diminishing its fighting strength, it can 
search out the opposing fleets to destroy them, and if 
it succeeds it is then free to transport troops where it 
will, and to prevent the enemy reinforcing or supplying 
its armies beyond the sea. A small people should be 
able to find crews for any number of ships that it can 
afibrd to build and maintain. Then, as now, it was 
a type of conflict bound in the end to be determined 
by wealth rather than by numbers. In contending 
for the wealth of the newly opened continents each 
side knew instinctively that it was fighting for the 
means essential to victory. 

The claim to the fireedom of the seas was advanced 
by Elizabeth in 1580. In 1588 Philip marshalled all 
his maritime resources for the destruction of England 
and launched the Armada against her in vain. Out- 
manoeuvred by the English sailors, riddled by their 
shot, and battered by storms, a few beaten hulks 
returned to Spanish ports, and the monopoly of the 
high seas was broken, never to be renewed. 

It was in this struggle that the British captains 
realized the essential conditions of maritime defence. 
Drake had urged on Queen Elizabeth that the right 
way to protect Her Majesty's shores was not by 
remaining near them, but by seeking o.ut the fleets of 
Philip and destroying them* even in his own ports. 
Thenceforward this principle was recognized as the 
basis of British strategy. In the Spanish Eknpire 
there were some who perceived its vital importance, 
for in 1624 Manoel Severim de Faria, a Portuguese 
writer, ^in a treatise which anticipates the modem 
philosophy of sea-power, urged that the one course 


capable of arresting the rapid decline of the Iberian chap. 
Empire was that the capital should be transported 
from Madrid to Lisbon, and that the total maritime 
strength of the monarchy should be employed in the 
British Channel upon the destruction of the Dutch 
and English navies. Such bold and drastic counsels 
were thrown away upon the Spanish Court.' ^ 



The expeditions sent out by Henry the Navigator The Dutch 
and his successors had from the outset been military, company* 
They were Crusades upon which had been grafted poiitj^j" 
aims of a commercial character. The merchandise ^^a^^ter. 
most eagerly sought was spice which, until the trade 
routes were cut by the Turks, had reached Europe 
in small and precious parcels borne across Asia on 
the backs of camels. A ship-load of spices was worth 
a king's ransom, and even if trade had been the only 
object of the Portuguese, no one would have dared 
to entrust such cargoes to crews unable to protect 
their vessels from robbery. Single ships, however 
powerfully armed, ran fearful risks, and throughout 
the sixteenth century the trade with the Far East 
was as a matter of course carried on by fleets which 
were as ready to fight as to trade. From first to 
last the enterprise was an affair of state conducted 
by the king, and when in 1580 Portugal and Spain 
were united under one crown the East Indian trade 
became the monopoly of the King of Spain. Hitherto 

' Fisher, PolUical l/nimu^ P- 14) quoting Manoel Severim de Faria, Dis- 
cursos varios polUicas, Evora, 1624. 


CHAP, the Portuguese had confined themselves to the whole- 
sale trade with India, leaving to the merchants of 
the Netherlandfl the lucrative business of distributing 
the cargoes to the ports of Europe. Antwerp was 
the great emporium for Eastern wares ; but when 
Spain absorbed Portugal and took over the Indian 
trade the Netherlands were in open revolt against 
her rule. Cut off from the business of distribution, 
the Dutch merchants determined to assert their right 
to bring spices direct from the islands of the Malay 
Archipelago and generally to trade with the East. 
A company closely associated with the state was 
constituted for this purpose. The charter granted 
to it by the States General ' reads like a Protestant 
counterpart of the privileges granted to Portugal by 
the Bull of 1493, except that religious proselytism 
drops out of view, a commercial company takes the 
place of the King, and instead of the poena excom- 
municationis latae against rivals or intruders, we 
have the direct arbitrament of the sword.' ^ The 
object aimed at by Holland * was not, as Portugal's 
had been, to take vengeance on the nefandissimi 
Machometi secta for the loss of the Holy Places in 
Palestine, or to swell the pride of a Royal House by 
new Asiatic titles, and to bring the kingdo^as of the 
East within the Christian fold, but by establishing 
a sufficient degree of sovereignty over the islands 
to prevent them from selling their spices to any 
European nation but herself. Where she found a 
stringent supremacy needful she established it ; where 
a less control sufficed, she was at first willing to leave 
the princes and peoples very much to themselves.' * 
The In 1600 the first English East India Company 

Eaft^india was formcd. But *it was in no sense a national 
Ftono^"^* enterprise, or a semi-national association like the 


character. * Hunter, History of British India, voL i. pp. 239-240. 

2 Ibid. i. p. 342. 


Dutch East India Company. The Queen allowed a chap. 
private group of her subjects to adventure their 
capital in the East India trade, and granted them 
such privileges as did not interfere with her own 
foreign policy. When their interests clashed with 
her foreign policy, she did not hesitate to withdraw 
her support.** The aims of this company were 
exclusively commercial. For the first ninety years 
of its existence the directors were steadfast in their 
resolve to avoid the acquisition or government of 
territory, [notwithstanding the pressure put upon 
them by their agents. In 1616 their policy was 
announced by Sir Thomas Roe in emphatic terms. 
* A war and traffic are incompatible,' he wrote. * By 
my consent you shall in no way engage yourselves 
but at sea, where you are like to gain as often as to 
lose. It is the beggaring of the Portugal, notwith- 
standing his many rich residences and territories 
that he keeps soldiers that spend it, yet his garrisons 
are mean. He never profited by the Indies, since 
he defended them. Observe this well. It hath been 
also the error of the Dutch, who seek Plantation here 
by the sword. They turn a wonderful stock, they 
prowl in all places, they possess some of the best ; 
yet their dead payes (payments) consume all the 
gain. Jiet this be received as a rule that if you 
will profit, seek it at Sea, and in quiet trade ; for 
without controversy, it is an error to affect garrisons 
and land- wars in India.' ^ 

Four years later l^he directors, in pursuance of 
this poHcy, repudiated a proclamation dated from 
Saldanha Bay, by which two of their captains had 
annexed Table Bay. The two harbours enclosed by 
the Cape peninsula were, in truth, the key to the 

^ Hunter, Hittoty of British India, vol. i. p. 256. 

* Ibid, vol. ii. pp. 241-242, quoting Foster, Evibassy of Sir l^komcis lioe^ 
vol. i. p. xliil. 




CHAP. Eastern trade. But however pacific the intentions 
^^^^^^^^^^ of the London merchants, their right to navigate 
The the Indian seas had to be asserted by powder and 

Comply shot, and after a series of battles the Portuguese were 
the^^u- fi^*% beaten by Dounton at Surat in 1615. The 
gue8e,and, Netherlands, however, had in the course of their long 
eluded by Struggle with Spain developed their maritime power, 
from^^^ and the Dutch East India Company was now dominant 
^^. in the East. Their jealousy of English intrusion into 
estab* the Spice Islands culminated in 1623 in the torture 
their pod- and massacrc of the English settlers at Amboyna, 
in^ an island from which the Portuguese had been ejected 
^K f ^^ *^® Dutch in 1609. Indirectly this outrage led 
exdusion to the fouudatiou of the Indian Empire, for the 
fatai^ English Company, withdrawing to the mainland, 
developed the power which afterwards enabled them 
to dominate it. The Dutch, meantime, intent upon 
monopolizing the whole trade of the Spice Islands, 
were occupied with driving out the Portuguese. 
They were neither the first nor the last to believe 
that dependencies can be made a close preserve, or 
to realize too late that they languish when every 
aperture is closed against commerce with the world 
outside. 'The rapid and signal downfall of the 
Dutch colonial empire is to be explained by its short- 
sighted commercial policy. It was deliberately based 
upon a monopoly of the trade in spices, and remained 
from first to last destitute of the true imperial spirit. 
Like the Phoenicians of old, the Dutch stopped short 
of no acts of cruelty towards their rivals in com- 
merce ; but, unlike the Phoenicians, they failed to 
introduce a respect for their own higher civilization 
among the natives with whom they came in contact.' ' 
Spain had already sapped her own vitality by yield- 
ing to the same exclusive instinct, and had ceased 
to be the dominant power of Europe. That position 

* Hunter, Eney. Brit., vol. xiv. p. 406, 11th ed. 


was now assumed by France, and the menace of chap. 
this powerful neighbour handicapped Holland in her 
struggle for naval supremacy with a rival whose 
territories were shielded by the sea. Exclusion was 
a game at which two could play, and England, by 
the Navigation Acts, ruined the carrying trade of the 
Dutch. These measures in turn became the basis 
of the * Commercial System ' which cost England the 
allegiance of her American colonies. 

William of Orange ascended the English throne The 
in 1689, and established a peace with Holland which wiSi** 
lasted for little short of a hundred years. The f™^^^; 
struggle for the empire of the sea and of the con- conditions 
tinents beyond it now lay between France and determined 
England, and only ended with the battle of Trafalgar. '^ '''^^• 
The smaller nation prevailed (at times against Europe 
in arms), mainly because it was able to concentrate 
its energies on the maritime contest, while those of 
France were consumed in land wars with neighbouring 
powers.^ The genius of Olive and Wolfe would have 
been of little use had England not been able to 
dominate with her fleets the routes which led to Asia 
and America.^ It was from these distant continents 
that she drew the wealth which enabled her to main- 
tain the supremacy at sea which was the condition of 
her existence. Without it she would have perished, 
and with her the civilization for which she stood. 

In challenging the determination of the strongest Reaaons 
power in Europe to exclude them from the oversea compelled 
trade, the English became masters of the sea and the ^^n^i^ 
strongest power in India at the very moment when ^^ 
native rule in India was finally breaking down. The Company 
English East India Oompany started, as has been the task ^ 
pointed out, with the deliberate purpose of confining menr^^"^ 
itself to trade and of avoiding government. It took 

* Mahan, Influence of Sea Power on History^ p. 226. 
« Ibid, pp. 306-307. 


CHAP, close upon a century's experience to teach the 
directors that the kind of trade upon which they 
were embarking could not be developed unless they 
accepted the task of territorial adniinistration. Up 
to the middle of the fifteenth century the diflSculty 
of transport had limited the commerce between 
Europe and the Far East to articles of small size 
and great value. Silk, jewels, and spice filtered in 
slender quantities through Alexandria, Smyrna, or 
Constantinople, to the warehouses of Venice, Cadiz, 
Lisbon, Bordeaux, Amsterdam, Antwerp, or London, 
for distribution over Europe. Between these European 
ports a commerce of a different kind was carried on 
in wine, grain, wool fabrics, and other bulky articles 
which had to be warehoused at the ports in sufficient 
quantities to make up the cargoes of the ships which 
carried them. But such massing of wealth was only 
possible under the conditions of order which had 
come into being in Europe. The moment that fleets 
were sent to find cargoes on the coast of India, 
European merchants began to discover that for trade 
on such a scale a certain degree of protection for 
property on land is essential in both the countries 
which are taking part in it. They were obliged to 
appoint agents in India to collect cargoes in depots, 
or factories as they were called, against the arrival of 
their fleets. The problem was much the same as that 
which English and Russian merchants are facing in 
Persia at the present day. 
Gradual Thcsc Operations began in Northern India just 

tSn™y ^^^^ ^^^ Moslems had established a vigorous and 
the Com- despotic Sovereignty under the Mogul Emperor 
political Akbar in that part of the sub-continent. Before the 


bilities, close of the seventeenth century the rule of the 
Mogul Emperors had followed the usual course of 
Oriental despotisms established by conquest. The 
Mohammedan bigotry of the Emperor Aurangzeb 





turned his subjects into foes, the Mogul Empire broke 
down, and India was left without any central control 
or union. There ceased to be any Qovemment which 
could protect the factories of the Company either 
against the Portuguese, Dutch, or French, or from the 
rapacity of the native rulers themselves. But it was 
not till the closing years of the seventeenth century 
that the Company recognized the impossibility of 
continuing to act on the maxims of Eoe. Even so 
late as 1681, the Governor in London wrote: 'AH 
war is so contrary to oiH* constitution as well as our 
interest, that we cannot too often inculcate to you 
our aversion thereunto.' ^ But three years later they 
had changed their tone, and in 1684 the directors 
recorded the remark that 'though our business is 
only trade and security, not conquest, yet we dare 
not trade boldly or leave great stocks where we have 
not the security of a fort.'* In 1685 they ordered 
the Black Town of Madras to be fortified, and on the 
16th March 1686 a letter was despatched abandoning 
the policy of Roe and accepting the conclusion which 
had been forced by hard facts upon their agents in 
India, * namely, that since the native governors have 
taken to trampling upon us, and extorting what they 
please of our estate from ns, by the besieging of our 
Pactorys and stopping of our boats upon the Ganges, 
they will never forbare doing so till we have made 
them as sensible of our Power, as we have of our 
Truth and Justice. And we, after many Deliberations 
are firmly of the same Opinion, and resolve with God's 
blessing to pursue it.' ^ The factories had therefore 
to be equipped as forts. But a fortified settlement 
depends for its sustenance as well as for its trade on 
the people and country immediately surrounding it, 

' Hunter, ffidory ofBrituh IndiOy vol. ii. p. 246, quoting letter from the 
Court of Directors to the Bombay Council of 22nd April 1681. 

a Ibid, vol. ii p. 246. » Ibid, vol. \L p. 241. 



CHAP, and is driven in time to protect them as well as itself. 
Protection involves administration, and administration 
the raising of taxes and revenue. By an inevitable 
sequence of events the fortified factories of Bombay, 
Madras, and Calcutta each became a nucleus of 
government, arbitrary, perhaps, as compared with 
that in the British colonies of America, hpt just, 
moderate, and humane as compared with the rule of 
the native despots. It was no idle boast when the 
Company claimed that the Indians 'do live easier 
under our government than under any government in 
Asia.' ^ When in 1763 the French power was beaten 
and practically withdrawn from India, the Mogul 
Empire had already broken down, and the country 
plunged once more into a series of internecine wars 
between its various races and dynasties. From these 
wars it was impossible that the East India Company 
with its vast and rapidly growing interests should 
stand aside. Quickly it became the sovereign power 
of India, for precisely the same reason that Rome 
secured and long maintained the sovereignty of 
Europe, because it was the one eflFective power capable 
of creating and maintaining order, 
jhe But for the organization provided by the Company, 

SSaUy ^rade with the East could not have existed on any 
displaced gerious scale, and the Company claimed an exclusive 
British right to it. By a series of steps the British Govern- 
ment" ment assumed control of this powerful corporation, 
defecteof *^^ gradually opened the Indian trade to other 
company British subjects, and finally to all the world, on 
equal terms. Eventually the Company was ex- 
propriated and abolished, and the British Government 
took upon itself the task of governing India. The 
principles underlying trade and government are so 
fundamentally different as to impose upon those who 
try to combine them a dual and sometimes conflict- 

' Hunter, History of British India^ vol. ii. p. 272. 


ing responsibility. Legitimate trade, as distinguished chap. 
from plunder in all its various forms, depends on a 
community of material interests, and can only be 
established where such a community exists. Such 
community is found where two or more parties each 
have something which the other wants, so that an 
exchange suits all of them. The motive of trade 
is frankly and properly self-interest. Grovemment 
rests on a motive the exact antithesis of this. Its 
ultimate authority is bom, not of self-interest, how- 
ever enlightened, but of that still small voice which 
moves men to place the interest of the community 
before their own. It is in fact the organ through 
which the collective conscience of a community is 
imposed upon its members, constraining each to 
subordinate his private good to that of all, and 
enabling all to sacrifice their present good to the 
welfare of those that follow them. The interest of 
each individual is concerned with the present or the 
immediate future : of the distant future government 
is the sole trustee, and, properly to discharge that 
trust, its agents should be men who can view with 
a single eye the duties committed to them. But if 
those agents are primarily responsible to a company 
whose business it is to earn dividends for its share- 
holders within a limited time, they are likely to 
find themselves sooner or later in a false position. 
And in actual practice the officials of chartered 
companies are pften faced by a conflict of duties, 
for the measures that best serve the interest of 
their shareholders cannot always be those which 
are best for the countries they rule. Would any 
one, for instance, dare to assert that the interests of 
the company which was formed to realize the natural 
resources of Nigeria, and was formerly responsible for 
its administration, were always identical with those 
of the present and future inhabitants? Admirable 


CHAP, work has been done by chartered companies in laying 
the foundations of law and order where the Imperial 
government was not yet ready for the task. Seldom 
have natives been governed with greater humanity 
than they now are in Northern Bhodesia. The defects 
of the system have often been neutralized by a more 
than commercial enthusiasm for doing things well, by 
the watchful supervision of the supreme government, 
or by a reasonable expectation that that government 
will take over the administration and reimburse the 
shareholders for the expenditure incurred. The genius 
of Englishmen for makeshifts is one of the secrets of 
their practical success. The defect of that quality 
lies in their frequent neglect to replace the makeshift 
before its inherent weakness has endangered the whole 
structure of government. No single expedient has 
done more to faciUtate the growth of the British 
Commonwealth than the free hand given at various 
times to chartered companies. Nor is there any valid 
objection to the practice, if provision is made in time 
to put in their place an authority which can view the 
task entrusted to it with a single eye to the benefit 
"^ of the country it controls. 
Inclusion \\ The British East India Company was the first and 
hi the by far the most important example of this method 
c"mmon- ^^ administering a subject race. The rivalries, 
wealth, conflicts, and intrigues of Western nations carried 
on in the heart of Eastern society aggravated to an 
intense degree disorders which, though favourable 
to plunder and exploitation in all their forms, were 
fatal to the growth of a genuine commerce. The 
London directorate of the British East India Company 
and the best of their agents in India really desired 
legitimate trade, and in order to secure it were 
gradually forced to establish some kind of order for 
themselves. In doing so they developed a govwn- 
ment, and the British Government, from which their 


powers were derived, was obliged to watch and chap. 
control the experiment. That control was gradually ^^^ 
strengthened until at length the Company was 
expropriated and its charter cancelled. In this way 
the British Commonwealth, except in the tiny areas 
left as a matter of sentiment to Portugal and France, 
assumed an unlimited authority over the relations 
of all the people of India to each other ; and in doing 
so it also became responsible for their relations not 
only with other parts of the Empire but with the 
rest of the world. The Indians thus became subjects 
of the British Crown. But by this time the 
sovereignty had passed once for all from the Crown 
to Parliament, or rather to the voters who elect it — 
to the citizens, that is to say, recognized by law as 
qualified to choose representatives for the purpose 
of administering and changing the law. It is they, 
not the King, Cabinet, or Parliament, who are the 
mainspring of government in the United Kingdom, 
and it is essential to the present inquiry that no 
legal formula or rhetorical phrase should be suffered 
to obscure the fact that they are also the actual as 
well as the legal mainspring of government in India, 
as in all the dependencies of the British Crown. It 
is they who are responsible for adjusting the relations 
of a vast portion of the East with the West. The 
allegiance of the people of the United Kingdom and 
of all its dependencies is due to the same paramount 
^authority. All of them are citizens of one com- 
prehensive state, and that a state in which autocracy 
has been finally discarded and government consciously 
based on the principle of the commonwealth. How- 
ever despotic the power of the Viceroy, and however 
prone the Oriental to regard such power as evidence 
of divine authority, that power is in fact derived 
from the British Parliament, not by virtue of its 
sovereignty over the United Kingdom, still less by 


CHAP, virtue of its sovereignty over India, but by virtue 
of its sovereignty over the greater state of which 
both are integral parts. Its authority rests on the 
duty of the British and Indian peoples to see to it 
that both may fare better rather than worse by 
reason of their mutual intercourse. The responsibility 
for effecting this object must long continue to rest 
with the European community, merely because in 
realization of that duty, as well as in fitness to 
discharge it, the European community is far in 
advance of the Asiatic. These things are a matter 
of degree, and must be gauged by actual as well as 
by ideal standards. A glance at the attitude of 
Turkish or other Oriental rulers towards their 
dependencies will suggest that, wanting as the 
British have been, and still are, in a due sense of their 
responsibility to India, the sense is there. It is 
strong enough to secure that in most respects the 
government of India shall be determined by Indian 
and not by British interests so far as its purely 
domestic affairs are concerned, and in Imperial 
matters by Imperial interests. It is idle to assert 
that the vast mass of Indians have as yet had time 
to rise to a correlative sense of responsibility in 
Indian affairs, still .less in those of the general 
Commonwealth of which India is a part.^ The 

^ These words have been left to stand as they were first printed in 1913. 
The devotion of India to the Imperial Commonwealth is not the least 
remarkable of the revelations brought about by a war which threatens its 
existence, a revelation no less surprising, perhaps, to Indians themselves 
than to their British fellow-citizens. The following extract from a poem 
by a distinguished Judge, Nawab Nizamut Jung of the High Court of 
Hyderabad, printed in the Tiines of October 2, 1914, with reference to the 
landing of the Indian contingent at Marseilles, is a fine expression of the 
value which Indians have come to attach to their citizenship in a world- 
state greater even than India itself : — 

Though weak our hands, which fain would clasp 
The warrior's sword with warrior's grasp 

On Victory's field ; 
Tet turn, O mighty Mother I tarn 
Unto the million hearts that bum 

To be thy shield ! 


principle of that Commonwealth rests upon mutual chap. 
responsibility, but such responsibility is seldom dis- 
tributed equally. It rests with those that have more 
knowledge rather than with those that have less, on 
the strong rather than the weak. Power must ever 
go hand in hand with responsibility. The ultimate 
sovereignty of the general Commonwealth has not 
been extended to include the people of India, for no 
other reason than this, that if it were, government 
itself would cease. Of all tyrannies the worst is 
anarchy, the one in which no visible authority can be 
held responsible for wrong done.^ The British people 
have included communities drawn from every level of 
human society within the circle of one comprehensive 
commonwealth, without, like the Bomans, destroying 
its character as such ; and in doing so have done 
more than Rome itself towards solving the most 
fundamental of human problems. 

In noting this obvious fact there is no sugges- The 
tion that the British, any more than the Greeks or and ^ 
Romans, deliberately addressed themselves to the ^f*^*^^ 
task of establishing an equilibrium between Europe, ^^twh 

. t* 1 • 1 r\ dominion 

Asia, and the primitive races of mankind. 'One in India. 
reason why British aims in India have never been 

Thine equal Justice, mercy, grace, 
Have raade a distant alien race 

A part of thee ! 
Twas thine to bid their sotiln rf^olce, 
When flrMt they heard the living voice 

Of liberty! 

Unmindful of their ancient name, 
And loat to Honour, Glory, Fame, 

And Bunli in strife 
Thou found 'at them, whom thy touch hath made 
Men, and to whom thy breath conveyed 

A nobler life ! 

Thoy whom thy love hath guarded long, 
They, whom thy care hath rendered strong 

In love and faith. 
Their heart-strings round thy heart entwine ; 
They are, they ever will be thine, 

In Ufe— in death ! 

^ See Note A at end of this chapter, p. 222. 


CHAP, reduced to precise formulae is that they were in- 
voluntary in their inception and very gradual in their 
growth. No one who has studied history will dream 
of contending for a moment that the British went to 
India intent upon the moral and material regenera- 
tion of its inhabitants. The pioneers were not even 
inflamed by the proselytizing zeal which formed one- 
half of the dual motives of the Portuguese. They 
slowly assumed the task of administration because 
they found it imperative for the development and 
stability of their trade. They drove out their 
European competitors, they upset ineflScient indigenous 
administrations, they made and unmade dynasties, 
from the same compelling reason. They extended 
their rule because every fresh conquest confronted 
them with new diflSculties and new menaces upon 
their frontiers. Nothing was more unmethodical, or 
inore automatic and inevitable, than the British 
conquest of India. . . . Yet, though there is little 
substantial evidence of high initial moral purpose of 
a far-reaching kind, there can be no doubt that it 
existed in varying and often obscure forms almost 
from the very beginning. In a race with the 
traditions and the ideals held by the English it was 
bound to be early manifested, and to impart some 
infusion of unselfish beneficence into their acts. The 
time came at last when it grew very rapidly, until in 
the end it became a dominating consideration. The 
annexation of Oudh would never have been under- 
taken if Oudh had been humanely governed. The 
conquest of the Punjab would never have been 
entered upon if the death of Ranjit Singh had 
not plunged the province into a welter of dismal 
strife. The character of the English counted for 
more in the long run than the material purpose which 
first took them to India, and they committed them- 
selves, almost without realizing it, to a task the full 

•• • 

• • 

,• • • 

• • • 

• • • 

• • • 

• .a 

• • • • 

• ••■•• 


magnitude of which is only now being perceived. . . . chap. 
The real fact is, of course, that Great Britain has 
never held India solely by. the sword, but also by the 
acquiescence, sometimes expressed, generally tacit, of 
the Indian peoples. If that acquiescence were ever 
withdrawn, the 75,000 white troops upon whom in 
the last emergency we must rely could not long 
uphold British rule unaided.' ^ 

The force of this last observation will be realized The 
more vividly if the reader will refer to Plate III. and of British 
note the tiny square which represents the European J^uJ^"*'" 
civil and military population resident in India. The 
statement is no less applicable to the other depend- 
encies in which by the same process the Commonwealth 
has taken upon itself, in addition, the guardianship of 
some 56,000,000 natives of Asia, Africa, America, and 
Oceana. Popular maps of the world serve to disguise 
the magnitude of this responsibility, because, as 
explained on Plate 11. , they exaggerate the area of 
territory in proportion to its distance from the 
equator, and minimize by comparison the area of the 
densely peopled tropics where for the most part these 
races live. But the fundamental problems of politics 
cannot be seen in their true proportions so long as 
they are measured in miles rather than men. Plate 
IV. is designed to give these measurements their real 
relative values, but while reading the following pages 
the student should keep Plate VIII. spread out before 
him. In round numbers the total population of the 
world may be taken at about 1,721,000,000.^ The 
native populations of Asia, Africa, America, and 
Oceana represent about 1,164,000,000, or more than 
two-thirds of the whole. Between the races which 
go to make up this figure there is hardly any feature 

^ India and the Durbar, reprint from the Times, pp. 63, 64, 69. 

' A& stated in the note facing page 1 these figures I'equired to bo modified 
in the light of more recent estimates of the population of China. The 
modificationB, however, would rather strengthen the argument. 


CHAP, which they share in common. Some, as in India and 
Egypt, have civilizations older than that of Europe, 
and differ from the savage races more than they differ 
from the European. But in this one feature all are 
alike, that their social systems begin to crumble 
the moment they come into contact with European 
civilization. Asia, Africa, America, and Oceana have, 
as compared with Europe, marked time during the 
long march of history. Europe has developed to an 
exceptional degree the faculty of change and growth. 
Her peoples are the active element in human society, 
and it is impossible for them to touch or mix with 
any of the passive elements without deranging their 
structure. The moment the enterprise initiated by 
Henry the Navigator brought the various continents 
into touch with each other, the question arose how 
far the passive and stationary peoples would be able 
to readjust themselves to the sudden change produced 
by contact with Europe. With some, of course, the 
disintegrating action has l)een more rapid than with 
others ; but the only important race of non-European 
descent which has yet shown signs of innate capacity 
to control and keep pace with it is Japan, and it 
is still too early to declare her capacity proved. 
Assuming it for the moment, however, and deducting 
her population of 69,000,000, there remain some 
1,095,000,000 human beings upon whom Europe has 
had, and is still having, a profoundly disturbing effect. 
Of these the people of China have been least sus- 
ceptible to its action, and for obvious reasons. They 
are one race inhabiting one vast empire. No coasts 
are more remote from Europe than those of China, 
and, except along the banks of its mighty rivers, 
Europeans have permeated its vast interior but little. 
The order maintained by England in India has helped 
to delay the process of disintegration in China. Since, 
however, European civilization has taken permanent 


root on the opposite coast of the Pacific, and Russia chap. 
has brought China into contact with Europe by the .,^,^,^^..,^ 
Siberian Railway, the disintegration of its society has 
proceeded at a headlong pace, and it yet remains to 
be seen whether a native government will succeed in 
controlling it. If not, the problem of regulating the 
relations of 434,000,000 Chinese with the other three- 
quarters of mankind may set the world by the ears 
before it is solved. In addition to the great Mongolian 
races there are about 67,000,000 people living in 
states which may be classed as non-European, and 
independent of European control.^ These states, 
together with China and Japan, contain about 
570,000,000 souls. The remaining non -European 
races may be put at 594,000,000. Upon most of 
these the disturbing influence of Europe began to act 
long before it made itself felt in China, and the effects 
were such that the peoples of Europe have become 
directly responsible for their government. But in 
respect of 373,000,000 — more than three-fifths of this 
balance, nearly one-third of the non-European races, 
and much more than one*fifth of human society — the 
responsibility has been assumed by the government 
of the British Commonwealth. 

Of this stupendous total, 312,000,000, or nearly Cauaes 
five-sixths, are natives of India, which is the part of annexf- 
Asia most readily accessible to ships approaching it ^°° °^ 
from Europe by the Cape route. Its inhabitants endesby 
are as diverse as those of China are uniform, and states!^^ 
owing to the peninsular shape of the country are 
comparatively easy to reach from the coast. When 
Vasco da Gama had opened the way there, India 
was quickly overrun by European adventurers in 
search of wealth, armed with the knowledge, weapons, 

^ Turkey in Asia, 18,000,000 ; Afghanistan, 6,900,000 ; Persia, 9,500,000; 
Siam, 6,250,000; Nepal, 5,000,000; Abyaainia, 8,000,000 ; Liberia, 1,500,000; 
Central American Republics, 5,010,000; Colombia, 4,320,000; Ecuador, 
1,500,000; Haiti, 2,020,000. Total, 67,000,000. 


CHAP, discoveries of Columbus and Vasco da Gama. The 
.^^^^..^^^^^ natives who perished by hunger, massacre, and 
mutilation, that the king and his satellites might 
reap the wealth of their forests, are reckoned in 
millions. No other remedy could be devised than 
that a civilized government, that is to say, the 
government of Belgium itself, should assume respon- 
sibility for the administration of the Congo. Once 
more the rubber tragedy is repeating itself in Putu- 
mayo, and again no effective remedy is in sight unless 
Peru can be made responsible for the effective ad- 
ministration of the district. In Egypt, Morocco, 
Swaziland, New Guinea, Samoa, and Fiji, the same 
story has been repeated. The institutions of native 
society are powerless to resist the influences which 
Europeans in search of wealth bring to bear on them. 
The corruption they engender threatens to infect the 
world beyond, until at last it awakens both the 
conscience and the fears of Europe, and it is recognized 
that some European state must be made responsible 
for enforcing justice between man and man. Nor 
wiU any thoughtful person deny that it is for the 
more advanced civilization to enforce justice between 
its own children and the weaker races of the other 
continents. But it is too little recognized that such 
work can only be done effectively by a state, or that 
for a civilized state to enforce justice in a native 
territory means annexation, by whatever diplomatic 
fiction the reality of Empire may be disguised.^ 
Magnitude Incomparably the heaviest share of this respon- 
sibiiities sibility has fallen on the British Commonwealth, 
byBritish which is uow responsible for the peace, order, and 
ment^^ govemmeut of some 373,000,000 of human beings, 
drawn from races other than those of Europe. The 
magnitude of the function can be realized by imagining 
the result if the ability of the Imperial Government 

^ See Note B at end of this chapter, p. 229. 


to discharge it were destroyed. Suppose that India ohap. 
with its manifold religions and races, Ceylon, the 
Straits Settlements, Egypt,^ East A&ica, and Nigeria 
—not to mention a multitude of smaller native 
communities scattered over the face of the globe — 
were suddenly left exposed to the machinations of 
adventurers in quest of wealth, and called upon to 
set up for themselves governments competent to keep 
some sort of internal order. How many rulers could 
the East produce fit to control the commerce of its 
people with European traders ? How many could 
be trusted to handle the loans which European 
financiers are ready to lend ? And how many tribal 
chiefs would be found proof against the enterprise 
of adventurers in search of concessions ? The history 
of Egypt, China, Persia, Morocco, and Swaziland in 
tihe last few decades shows all too clearly the future 
in store for a backward community which is left 
without protection against Europeans with all the 
material resources of their civilization behind them. 
It is only by calling to their aid the moral forces of 
civilization that the contact of Europeans with races 
less advanced than themselves can be rendered other- 
wise than disastrous to both. Those relations must 
be controlled ; control can only be exercised by the 
higher civilization and never becomes effective until 
in some shape or form the actual responsibility of 
government is assumed. 

Afi soon as the other continents were opened to British de- 
Europe, the government of great parts of them by S^uu^d^^ 
European states was inevitable. Europe had, as ^^^^^ 
explained in the first two chapters, developed two superior 
varieties of civilization, one continental, the other force. 
insular. England, the nation which had produced 
the latter, had by reason of its insular position 
secured the mastery of the ocean routes in defiance 

^ See Note A at end of this chapter, p. 223. 


CHAP, of continental Europe, and as her trade with the 
other continents was greater than that of all Europe, 
so there fell to her a lion's share of the dominion to 
which trade inevitably led. The secret of superior 
sea - power sufficiently explains why it was that 
England and not Spain, France, or Holland prevailed 
in Asia. But to the question why a state representing 
so small a section of Europe has retained its dominion 
over peoples vastly more numerous than itself it 
offers no key. The truth is, as stated by the writer 
quoted above,^ that the allegiance of these myriads 
has not been secured by the material forces of England, 
but rests on the acquiescence of the subject races 
themselves. But the question remains why they 
have so acquiesced. 
The Conservatives are apt to talk as though autocracies 

merits^of wcrc better adapted than commonwealths to the task 
andT^^^^^ of governing backward communities, because the 
(»mmon. principle of autocracy is alone intelligible to them. 
the Radicals are apt to arrive at the same conclusion by 

ment of ^ different road, and tOvspeak as though the task were 
de^nd- qj^q which it ill befits a commonwealth to attempt.^ 
The present inquiry is concerned with facts, and with 
theories only in so far as they square with them ; and 
in this case it is indisputable that a vast proportion 
of the backward races when left to themselves fall 
into the power of irresponsible Europeans, who use 
that power for their own ends, to the undoing of 
those over whom it is used.' The only hope for these 
communities lies in government by Europeans re- 
sponsible to civilized states, and it is important, 
therefore, to inquire by what kind of civilized state 
they are best governed. Is it, as a question of fact, 
by states which cling to the principle of autocracy ? 

* See pp. 166-7. 

" See Note D at end of this chapter, p. 227. 

' See Note B at end of this chapter, p. 224. 


Will any one really suggest that the Indian members chap. 
of the Legislative Council would after careful inquiry 
prefer to see their country transferred to the rule of 
any continental state ? Does any dispassionate critic 
question the comparatiye success of British govern- 
ment in India, Ceylon, Egypt, the Malay States or 
Nigeria, or of the United States in the Philippines ? 
It is impossible, indeed, to resist the conclusion that 
as a rule civilized states have succeeded in the 
government of dependencies in so far as the principle 
of the commonwealth has been realized in their own 
institutions. But that dependencies should prosper 
when ruled by a state whose principle is unintelligible 
to them better than under one whose principle they 
understand is a paradox that calls for careful 
examination. In reducing a native territory to 
submission, and in organizing an administration, an 
autocracy will often show greater eflBciency and act 
more rapidly than a constitutional state.^ But pro- 
vided always that the paramount government is able 
to enforce its commands, its ultimate success will 
depend upon how far it maintains the balance of justice 
between the natives of the dependency, those of 
Europe, and its own officers. A government must have 
power over private citizens, and must also entrust the 
exercise of that power to officers who, owing to the 
defects of human nature, are liable to abuse it. To 
prevent such abuse is one of the standing problems 
of government The difficulty is increased ten- 
fold where the officers of government are far from 
the seat of sovereignty, and entrusted with powers 
over a race whose language and condition place 
almost insuperable difficulties in the way of appeal. 
In the absence of effective supervision their powers 
must tend gradually to demoralize all but the 
naturally upright, and even in those to foster an 

* Bourne, Spain in America^ p. 297. 


CHAP, arbitrary habit of mind. The earlier essays of 
European states, whether continental or British, in 
the government of dependencies have been marked 
by serious abuses. British institutions themselves 
were menaced in the eighteenth century when Clive 
and his contemporary nabobs used the wealth they 
brought from India to control a number of seats in 
Parliament. But the evils of British rule in India 
were slight compared to those which developed in 
the American dependencies of Portugal and Spain. 
England and Holland as well as the Latin monarchies 
treated the natives of Africa as chattels without rights 
and as instruments for their own ends, and revived 
slavery in a form and upon a scale more cruel than 
any practised by the ancients. The employment of 
slaves on her own soil has worked the permanent 
ruin of Portugal. The slave trade with America was 
an important source of English wealth, and the 
philosopher John Locke did not scruple to invest 
in it. There is no European race which can afford 
to remember its first contact with the subject peoples 
otherwise than with shame, and attempts to assess 
their relative degrees of guilt are as fruitless as they 
are invidious. The question of real importance is 
how far these various states were able to purge 
themselves of the poison, and rise to a higher realiza- 
tion of their duty towards races whom they were 
called by the claims of their own superior civilization 
to protect. The fate of that civilization itself hung 
upon the issue. 
The When the different principles underlying the various 

^ce^of governments of Europe are examined, is it possible to 
^"ndent ^^^ *^** ^^® morc than another was likely to develop 
review in a high scnsc of responsibility in its citizens and 
ingahigh ofiicers towaids the native races over which they 
of>espon- ruled ? To auswer this question it is first necessary 
sibiiity. ^q consider how in general such a sense is cultivated 


in any pnblic or private administration. It is cer- chap. 
tainly not by denying its officers the power to act 
except upon instructions asked and given in each 
individual case. The agents of a government or 
business who are never allowed to act on their own 
initiative will cease to have any. Every banker 
knows this, but he also knows the supreme importance 
of making his local managers accountable for every- 
thing they do after they have done it. If inspection 
and audit were relaxed or abolished the standard of 
responsibility throughout the departments of any 
great business, whether private or public, would 
rapidly decline. The efficacy of audit does not lie in 
the threat of punishment which mainly affects the 
feebler natures who at best only lean on the standards 
that others create. Fear appeals but little to the 
sturdier minds who create and' maintain these stan- 
dards. With such it is rather that inspection, and 
still more the prospect of inspection, induces a habit 
of seeing their conduct as others would see it. It 
provides them with a set of standards not falsified by 
the constant handling of daily use by which their 
moral weights and measures may be tested and 
corrected from time to time. In art the value of 
criticism does not depend on the artist's fear that the 
critic may injure the sale of his productions. In the 
maintenance of wholesome standards audit does for 
business what criticism does for art. 

The principle, in truth, applies to the whole sphere The rule 
of human conduct, and it is clear that in the govern- j^ts e^un 
ment of dependencies the standard of responsibility f^^l 
will be highest where every act of government is p«ndent 

review of 

subject to review by an independent authority. Now acu of 
Dicey has shown the characteristic which distinguishes me^nUn 
British institutions from those of the Continent to be ^^^ ^5. 
the automatic provision of an independent review to enciee. 
which government is subject in all its acts. The 


OHAP. establishment of the liability of its officers to the 

jurisdiction of the same courts as administered justice 

to private individuals was the essential step in the 

creation of the British Commonwealth. The product 

not of the legislature, but of the courts, it was 

gradually extended in the ordinary course and by the 

same means to the dependencies which Britain annexed. 

Their native inhabitants were actually incorporated 

in the fabric of the Commonwealth by a series of legal 

p \ decisions in the ordinary courts. 

Fabrigas The history of these decisions would be a valuable 

«. Mostyn. g^u^y^ j^^^ qj^q quito bcyoud the compass of this 

inquiry. It is instructive, however, to glance at one 
of them. The case of Fabrigas v. Mostyn arose in 
1773, during the occupation by British forces of the 
Island of Minorca. The fact that the case should 
relate to an island Inhabited by Europeans, which 
was only for short periods a dependency of Great 
Britain, in no way lessens its value as an illustration 
of the principle under discussion. Fabrigas, a native 
of Minorca, was regarded by Lieutenant -General 
Mostyn, the Governor, as a seditious, turbulent, 
and dissatisfied person, and he resolved to deport him 
to Spain, believing that he had a right to do so in 
accordance with the ancient laws of the island. 
Fabrigas was arrested, imprisoned, and transported 
to Spain without any form of trial An action for 
assault and false imprisonment tvas brought hy 
Fabrigas in the Court of Common Pleas in London. 
The case was heard there, and counsel in defending 
Governor Mostyn remarked that 'liberty' was the 
privilege which the English had secured for them- 
selves by their own patriotism. But the maintenance 
of that liberty, which they prized above all things, 
depended upon their trade, and the trade of the 
Mediterranean depended upon the possession of 
Minorca by Britain. He argued that if equality 


before the law, upon which Englishmen insisted for chap. 
themselves, were extended to Minorca, it would be v-^.^^-^.^ 
impossible to hold that dependency. With a logic 
which after -events proved to be unanswerable, 
he urged that such a doctrine would lead to the 
abolition of slavery in the plantations.^ Arrest, 
imprisonment, and deportation without trial might 
indeed be contrary to the principles of the British 
constitution ; but the constitution existed for the 
benefit of the British people, and could not be 
maintained if its principles were extended to the 
countries they annexed as necessary to that trade 
which was the bulwark of their own liberty. The 
dependencies must be enslaved in order that Britain 
might be £ree. The illegal deportation of Fabrigas 
was in fact to be justified as an act of state 
essential in the interests, not of the people of the 
British Empire, but only of the people of Great 
Britain. The people of the dependencies were to be 
considered not as ends in themselves but as a means 
to the ends of the dominant race. It was in essence 
the very doctrine applied by the Athenians to another 
Mediterranean island in the Peloponnesian War — the 
claim of the strong to dominate the weak for their 
own safety merely by virtue of their superior 

Mr. Justice Gould, who heard the case, left it to Thejudg- 
the jury to say 'whether the plaintiflTs behaviour iteeffwjtin 
was such as to afford a just conclusion that he was e^*«i»ding 

J ^ ^ to natives 

about to stir up sedition and mutiny in the garrison, of depend- 
or whether he meant no more than earnestly to press status of 
his ,mt .Bd U, e.d«vour to obfm red«« for what ftf^f 
seemed to him to be a grievance.'* If they thought ^^2^'"" 
that the latter was the case the Judge informed the 

^ See p. 231. 

' See note G at end of this chapter, p. 230. 

> Howell, Stati TriaU, xx, p. 174. 


CHAP, jury that the plaintiff was entitled to recover in the 
"^ action. The jury returned a verdict for the plaintiflF 
with £3000 damages. An appeal by General Mostyn 
for a new tria] was heard by the whole court and 
refused. Thereupon Governor Mostyn brought a 
writ of error in the King's Bench ; but the judgment 
of the Court of Common Pleas was confirmed and the 
following remarks were delivered by Lord Mansfield 
upon the legal responsibility of a governor: — •To 
make questions upon matters of settled law, where 
there have been a number of actions determined, 
which it never entered into a man's head to dispute 
— to lay down in an English court of justice such 
monstrous propositions as that a governor, acting 
by virtue of letters patent under the great seal, can 
do what he pleases ; that he is accountable only to 
God and his own conscience — and to maintain here 
that every governor in every place can act absolutely ; 
that he may spoil, plunder, affect their bodies and 
their liberty, and is accountable to nobody — is a 
doctrine not to be maintained; for if he is not 
accountable in this court, he is accountable nowhere. 
The king in council has no jurisdiction of this 
matter; they cannot do it in any shape; they 
cannot give damages, they cannot give reparation, 
they cannot punish, they cannot hold plea in any 
way. Wherever complaints have been before the 
king in council, it has been with a view to remove 
the governor ; it has been with a view to take the 
commission from him which he held at the pleasure 
of the crown. But suppose he holds nothing of the 
crown, suppose his government is at an end, and that 
he is in England, they have no jurisdiction to make 
reparation to the party injured ; they have no jurisdic- 
tion to punish in any shape the man that has committed 
the injury : how can the arguments be supported, 
that, in an empire so extended as this, every governor 


in every colony and every province belonging to the chap. 
crown of Great Britain, shall be absolutely despotic, 
and can be no more called in question than the king 
of France ? and this after there have been multitudes 
of actions in all our memories against governors, and 
nobody has been ingenious enough to whisper them, 
that they were not amenable/ ^ In these momentous 
words there was once for all secured to the native of 
a dependency the same access to the ordinary courts 
as a native of Britain. It was there and there only 
that any cause at issue between him and the govern- 
ment or its representatives was to be tried. 

To appreciate fully the significance of the case it Position of 
is necessary to consider what remedy would have in sSS^r 
been open to Fabrigas if he had been banished by a f^^ 
French governor while the island was annexed to ^^\ 
that power. The following remarks of counsel for mie. 
Greneral Mostyn throw a flood of light on the matter : 
*Do not be astonished, gentlemen, nor let it fright 
you, when I tell you, that the governor has an 
absolute right to do it, and is accountable to nobody 
but the privy- council. The government of that 
island is, in many respects, an arbitrary government, 
and as despotic, in many instances, as any of the 
governments in Asia, particularly in the part now in 
question.' ^ The case would have been one of droit 
dchninistratify and the civil courts of France would 
have been closed to Fabrigas. He would have had 
to draw the attention of the French king or his 
ministers to his complaint' against their own officer. 
Had he been fortunate enough to get access to them 
and to convince them that there was a prima facie 
case for believing that the royal representative had 
abused his powers, the case would then have been 
heard by an administrative court which in its con- 

* Howell, StaU Trials, xx, p. 231. 
« Md. p. 114. 


CHAP, stitution would have resembled a court-martial rather 
than an ordinary court of law. His suit would not 
have been heard by a jury of civilians and a judge 
independent of the administration, but by some 
board of naval, military, or civil officials, before whom 
the plea that the principles of civil law must yield to 
administrative necessity would have been urged by 
the Grovemor with every prospect of success. 
Gradual It was thus the rule of law, gradually asserting 

of the rule itsclf through the decisions of the ordinary courts, 
through- which prevented the British, as in the struggle for 
B^V^h existence they extended their dominions, from lapsing 
dominiona into principles the negation of those which underlie 
their constitution. The legal habits springing from 
the earliest traditions of the race and confirmed 
centuries before by the vigour of certain kings in 
enforcing the judgments of their courts, and especially 
by the excellence of the procedure devised by Edward 
I., restrained them in their hour of danger and 
temptation from diverging down the broad and easy 
road which led the Athenians to destruction. It is 
far from the truth, however, that the rule of law 
prevailed always and everywhere throughout the 
dominions of the British Commonwealth. There 
were serious gaps in it : one appeared in the closing 
years of the eighteenth century in Ireland ; slavery 
was another. But the rule of law, instead of con- 
tracting, steadily extended the area of its operation 
and continued to assert itself until the gaps were 
closed. The essence of slavery is that the slave is 
not regarded as an end in himself but merely as a 
means to the well-being of his master, and it means 
that he stands outside the laws which regulate the 
relations between one citizen and another. Long 
before the institution itself was formally abolished, 
legal rights were gradually given one by one to the 
slave, some by legislative enactment and some by 


decisions of the conrts, till at last the foundations chap. 

of the servile status were undermined, • v^-.^,^-,.^ 

It is, of course, possible to point to more than one BntiBh 
reason why extensive and populous dependencies ^^^i^ 
acquiesced in the rule of a country so small and ^®^^^^\. 
distant as Britain. The control of its executive by tnbutabie 
Parliament, and the public discussion of its policy noebutto 
there, have gone far towards securing that that policy Jjo^' 
would bear discussion. But the^ parliamentary 
system is itself the product of the rule of law. Still 
more perhaps was due to the peculiar temper of 
officials educated in a country where a greater im- 
portance was attached to individual rights than any- 
where on the Continent. But this characteristic is 
itself the product of the system rather than of the 
race, and there is no reaaon to suppose that Austrians 
bred in England would not acquire it to the same 
degree, or that Englishmen bred in Austria would 
not be as arbitrary in their temper as the Austrians 
themselvea The British Commonwealth and the 
type of citizen it has produced are alike the results of 
the rule of law which must, therefore, be recognized 
as the ultimate reason why native races have on the 
whole fared better under British rule than any other. 
That so vast a proportion of them were brought under 
it was due to the supremacy of Britain at sea. But 
that these myriads should have acquiesced in a 
dominion which so small a country could never have 
kept inviolate if they had not, is due to the essential 
quality of its institutions. 

If, then, there are populous communities which, The doc- 
having to be governed from Europe, fare best under common* 
states which have themselves best realized the principle J^^ 
of the commonwealth, are such states to be urged to a^oid 
avoid the task ? Does the cause of freedom demand examined. 
that that portion of humanity which cannot govern 
itself should be left to be ruled by the civilized states 


CHAP, that least undeistaud what freedom means ? Is this 

^^^^^^^^^^^^^ reaUy a • task which the citizens of a commonwealth 

should blush to touch, should if possible avoid touching, 

or having touched, should seek to abandon ? ^ Such 

an attitude is largely due to a wholesome reoognition 

of the fact that no race can rule one weaker than 

itself without being exposed to fearful temptations, 

and that, in doing so, none has fully risen to the 

trust imposed upon it. But is it to be recognized 

as a principle of private conduct that men who value 

their own virtue are to refuse all trusts in order to 

avoid the temptations to which trustees are notoriously 

exposed? What virtue in a commonwealth is this 

that shrinks from the tasks that most need to be done 

— that it is most fitted to do ? Surely but * a fugitive 

and cloistered virtue, unexercised and unbreathed, 

that never sallies out and sees her adversary, but 

slinks out of the race where the immortal garland is 

to be run for, not without dust and heat.' ^ 

Paradox The story is told that the Indian government once 

British disputed the right claimed by a native community 

^th^"' ^^^^ *^® lands it cultivated, and the Supreme Court 

when to which the case was eventually carried decided it 

to non. in favour of the government. The tribe was a primi- 

^^pean ^^^^ ^^^ ^^^ ^^ members may well have assumed 

in their disappointment that the government had 
itself determined the ca^e in its own favour. Their 
legal advisers, however, decided to carry the case 
from the Indian courts to the Judicial Conmoiittee 
of the Privy Council, with the result that the 
decision was reversed in favour of the tribesmen, 
who suddenly found all the rights for which they 
had contended restored by some invisible authority, 
whose nature they could not apprehend and before 
which the Viceroy himself unquestioningly bowed. 

> See Note D at end of this chapter, p. 228. 
* Milton, Are^pagitiea, p. 46. 




After the manner of primitive humanity they flew 
to the conclusion that this power, mysterious as it 
was beneficent, must be divine, and the Judicial 
Committee of the Privy Council became the object of 
religious ceremonies amongst them. The story aptly 
illustrates the paradox of the British Commonwealth. 
It is based upon principles which are unintelligible 
to the majority of its subjects. Ultimately its power 
rests upon a sufficient realization by those who wield 
it of the civic duty of man to man. That sense 
of mutual duty has been developed sufficiently, 
not only to convert the English monarchy into a 
commonwealth, but to render that conmionwealth 
the greatest power in the Eastern world. To the 
Oriental power is an evidence of divine authority. 
Thus far he believes (and believes rightly) that 
power rests on the duty of man to God. But he 
has yet to rise to the conception that his duty to his 
neighbour is so bound up with it that he can only 
fulfil the one by discharging the other. The principle 
of autocracy will yield to that of the commonwealth 
in so far as this conception of duty is realized in the 
field of practical politics.^ But how far a common- 
wealth is capable of extension will depend upon the 
answer which its citizens give to the eternal question 
'Who is my neighbour?' By the Greek it was 
limited to those who lived in or near the same city 
as himself ; by the European, till close upon modern 
times, to those of his own race ; by the American of 
to-day, to those of his own level of civilization. But 
in so far as men rise to the conception that the weak 
who stand in need of their protection are their 
neighbours by reason of that need, so far will 
commonwealths transcend the boundaries of locality, 
race, and civilization which men in the hardness of 
their hearts and the blindness of their eyes have 

^ See Note A at end of this chapter, p. 222. 



OHAP. sought to impose on their continuous expansion. 

Such a conception faintly dawning in the hearts of 

a dominant race has rendered possible this stupendous 

Commonwealth embracing one quarter of mankind 

and including every degree of civilization and 


DeUcate The Oriental feels the reality of its power, and in 

the^taak accordaucc with immemorial habit regards it as divine 

^^^ and obeys it as such. But were some questioning 

Common- spirit Suddenly to destroy the divinity which hedges 

need of the British throne in India, order would quickly yield 

a^m^*^^ to anarchy. Yet as surely as day follows the night 

piiahment ^]^^ jjjjj^g must comc whcu, as knowledge spreads in 

India, the aureole which envelops and sanctions its 
authority will be dispelled. A despotic government 
might long have closed India to Western ideas. But 
a commonwealth is a living thing. It cannot suffer 
any part of itself to remain inert. To live it must 
move, and move in every limb. It must quicken 
with the principle of its own vitality every substance 
that it incorporates in its system, and though it 
must control and guide the process, it must not 
resist it. Under British rule Western ideas will 
continue to penetrate and disturb Oriental society, 
and whether the new spirit ends in anarchy or leads 
to the establishment of a higher order depends upon 
how far the millions of India can be raised to a 
fuller and more rational conception of the ultimate 
foundations upon which the duty of obedience to 
government rests. Some beginning of representative 
institutions has been made; but their further 
development will depend upon how far and how 
fast Indians rise to a sense of their duty to their 
fellow-citizens, and realize it in the practice of daily 
life. The work which the British Commonwealth 
has to do for them includes that which Rome did 
for the peoples of Europe; but it includes much 


more. It is, in its nature, far more delicate, and chaI>. 

• . Ill 

if it is to last it needs a mncb longer period in which 

to confirm its results. Had Oaesar and Augustus 
never lived, had Rome perished at the Christian era 
and Europe then reverted to anarchy, the world 
would have lost all that it has inherited from Greece 
and Rome, because the principles for which they 
stood would never have become rooted in the habits 
of any important section of mankind. But Rome's 
work was easier and more quickly done because the 
ancestco's of modem JEktropeans were mx)re primitive 
and more plastic than the peoples of the East. In 
Asia the British Commonwfeahh has to deal with 
the rigid and deeply rooted traditions of a civilization 
fer moire ancient than its own. Were the British 
Commonwealth to be dissolved in the course of the 
next century there would follow a period of world- 
wide cataclysm, more terrible than any which occurred 
in the centuries after the opening of the seas. Before 
the subject raees it now includes could change masters, 
a struggle would ensue in the course of which the 
habits of law and order which the British Common- 
wealth is planting in India would perish as corn in 
the blade wheB trampled beneath the feet of contend- 
ing hosts. The work done would be but a tale that 
is told, and its effe^ on the future not more than 
that of the moral to which it points. It needs for 
firuition not years nor decades but centuries, unless 
it is to perish as a harvest that has never been 
ripened and reaped. This project of a commonwealth 
is the noblest enterprise yet conceived in the cause 
of liberty, for it has played a part greater than any 
before it in joining together without binding in 
ehains the divers families of mankind. Never before 
was known such an element of stability as that which 
it gives to the enrtire fabric of human society. But 
to maintain it the project must be carried to its issue, 





a work for which much time is needed, a strength 
growing with the burden of the task, an understand- 
ing deeper and an aim higher than have ever been 
brought to bear on it in the past. 


so small 
a country 
as Britain 
to carry 
such yast 


The English Commonwealth was thus led by the 
opening of the seas in the sixteenth century to iassume 
responsibilities destined to become greater than any 
which have yet rested on the shoulders of a single 
state. Hardly any commensurate area in the world 
is capable of carrying a larger population than the 
British Isles, because, as may be seen from Plate IX., 
their position makes them for purposes of commerce 
and manufacture the centre of the world. The exact 
centre of the land hemisphere is at 47 J^ N., 2^ W., 
a point on the sea just outside the mouth of the 
Loire. For ships coming from the south and west 
the coasts of Britain are scarcely lesel central. Its 
numerous harbours are singularly convenient for 
maritime trade, and the very smaUness of the islands 
facilitates transport by means of coasting vessels 
between its various centres of commerce and industry. 
It contains, moreover, deposits of excellent coal, large 
enough to furnish more than a quarter of the world's 
present supply. Nature has in fact made this little 
territory the best place in the world for working and 
combining materials collected from ail the continents 
into goods for redistribution to all their inhabitants. 
Whether as an emporium or a centre of manufacture, 
the natural advantage of these islands is unique. 




Not are they dependent upon their own soil for the ohap. 
support of the people engaged in these occupations, 
because a very large part of their food is brought 
to them by ships returning from oversea. When 
the oceans were first opened to traffic the English 
population numbered about 8,000,000, and English- 
men of that age can no more have realized how 
large a population their island could carry than 
they can have foreseen the load which their little 
commonwealth was destined to take upon itself. 
It is this, indeed, which has hitherto enabled so 
small a section of Europe to support so overwhelming 
a share of the burden of government created by the 
history of Europe as a whole. 

The late Lord Salisbury advised students of Popuia- 
foreign politics to use large maps. But it is even of United 
more important that they should also use maps ^nnot'™ 
drawn upon a scale small enough to enable them fiopoto 

^ o keep pace 

to compare the countries whose relations they study, with 
and the reader should look once more at fhe map ^^nsi- 
of the world on Plate 11.^ For reasons explained Sl^^ 
in the notes thereto, the Northern territories are upon it 
greatly exaggerated by Mercator's Projection, so that 
the British Islands, when compared with countries 
nearer the equator, appear much larger than they 
really are. A correct comparison can, however, be 
made by glancing at the dotted rectangles which 
show the areas of the several countries in their 
true proportions. Wherever these rectangles are 
smaller than the coloured squares, as for example 
in the case of India, the population is denser than 
that of China, and in none of them, except Belgium, 
is it so dense as in the Britist Isled. When every 
allowance is made for the peculiar advantages they 
enjoy, a limit must sooner or later be reached in 
the numbers which territories with so small an area 

' This map will be found at the end c^ the volume. 




Danger to 
a common- 
wealth of 
too far 
the pro- 
of citizens 
of govern- 

can support. The water uequired for the purposes 
of their health and industry is but one of the factors 
which set bounds to the indefinite growth of an 
island community. As a matter of fact there now 
remains but one watersJbed of importance whioh 
has not as yet been tapped by one or other of the 
great cities. This, like every other restricting 
factor, reflects itself in the rate of wages and the 
cost of living; and the growing pace at which 
emigration flows from this densely populated country 
shows that it is approaching the point of saturation. 
Now that the empty parts of the world have all 
been opened to settlement, their populations will 
continue to increase by leaps and bounds, and in 
any case the inhabitants of these little islands must 
represent a steadily dwindling proportion of the 
white race, that is to say, of the governing faculty 
of the world. Will any one venture to assert that 
this diminishing section of Christendom can continue 
indefinitely to control the fiiture of one-fifth of the 
human race ? The 'force of thia poioat will be better 
understood by reference to Plate VIIL, where the rela- 
tive proportions of the existing popuJatioois of the 
world and of the areas, they severally inhabit are 
shown. ^ 

The previous pages have shown how the British 
Commonwealth has been led to include within its 
bounds an enormous section of the non - Eiuropeaiu 
races, not because they were fit to ahwe in its 
government, but for the opposite reason that eontact 
with Europe has made them unable to govern them- 
selves in their own primitive way. Under these 
conditions, inclusion in the British Commonwealth, 
where the rule of law was better understood and 
observed than by any continental state, was the 
best alternative open to them, and that Conunon* 

1 Plate VIII. will be found fifing pi 157. 


wealth has been able to admit them without, like qha?. 


the Republic of Rome, destroying its own character 
as such. The idea that the principle of the common- 
wealth implies universal suffrage betrays an ignorance 
of its real nature. That principle simply means 
that government rests on the duty of the citizens 
to each other, and is to be vested in those who 
are citable of setting public interests before their 
own. In human affairs the application of principles 
is always a rough business; but the faict that men 
rarely approach perfection in practice must not be 
allowed to obscure the principles upon which they 
should endeavour to act. The principle of the 
commonwealth means entrusting sovereignty to all 
those whose sense of duty to their fellow- citizens 
is strong enough to justify the trust. But if they 
be too few to enforce obedience the state will 
collapse. It is the fear of such a catastrophe which 
makes Americani^ shrink from the idea of including 
countries like Cuba and Mexico in the United States. 
But the prospect would lose many of its terrors 
if at the same time they coald count on including 
the people of Canada. 

Herein lies the key to the problem raised for the conse- 
British Commonwealth by the opening of the seas. ponLVcT 
That stupendous revolution in human affairs was to °^ ^^^. 

•^ . . , question 

extend its dominion over vast communities incapable, whether 
for the present at any rate, of sharing the burden of of Eu^pe^ 
government. But its dominion was also to spread ing"}^e 
over empty continents and to implant in them the ^®^ ^■ 
system and institutions through which that dominion were to 
was exercised. These vacant lands were to inherit the burden 
the principle of the commonwealth, not that of auto- ^l^^^^' 
cracy, and receive population not only from the British dej)end 
Isles but to an even larger degree from continental 
Europe. How far were these people as they entered 
the circle of the commonwealth to assume their share 



CHAP, in the gigantic burdens which were heaping upon it ; 

or were the inhabitants of the British Isles to remain 

for ever responsible for the equilibrium of mankind ? 

How far, in a word, were the new worlds to be called 

in to redress the balance of the old ? These questions 

are indeed the gist of this inquiry, and for their answer 

it is necessary to turn from the East to the West and 

to trace the results which followed the discoveries of 

Christopher Columbus and John Cabot. The map of 

North America on Plate X. is designed to illustrate 

the following pages and should now be unfolded.^ 

Coioniza- The narrative of the Western discoveries paused at 

Engii^^of ^^^ conquests of Cortes and Pizarro, and Spanish 

the North names in the South and West of the United States 


coast still show how far that nation was able to assert its 

1519. claim to the exclusive possession of North America. 

1588. When, however, by the destruction of the Armada, 

the Spanish monopoly of the high seas was broken, 

the English had already determined to put * a byt 

into the anchent enymye's mouth '^ by occupying 

some of the American mainland. Various attempts 

at colonization made in the reign of Elizabeth, first 

1578. by Sir Humphrey Gilbert and afterwards by Sir 

1585. Walter Raleigh, failed in their object. Raleigh's 

attempt, however, led to the formal annexation by 

England of part of the coast under the title of Virginia. 

The first real settlement was efi^ected by the Virginia 

Company under a patent granted by James I. to Sir 

Thomas Gates and others in which the whole of North 

1606. America between parallels 34 and 45 was claimed by 

the king, that is to say, the eastern coast from the 

southern boundary of North Carolina to the point 

which now divides the State of Maine from the 

Province of New Brunswick. The Royal Council of 

Virginia was organized for the manetgement of this 

' See especially map (c) on Plate X. at the end of this volttme. 
^ Dale to Winwood, June 1616. Brown, Genesis of the United States of 
America^ vol. ii. p. 783. 


, territory, which, together with certain extensions, ohap. 

was occupied' in the course of the next 125 years by 
the colonies of Virginia, Massachusetts, ' Maryland, 
New Hampshire, Connecticut, Rhode Island, North 
Carolina, South Carolina, New York, Delaware, New 
Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Greorgia. It must be 
noted, however, that the continuity of the English 
possessions was broken by the plantation of Dutch 
colonies round New Amsterdam, until they were 1622. 
seized by England and the name of New Amsterdam 
changed to New York. Henceforward, Holland, 1664. 

i except for a moment, ceased to play any part in 

the struggle for North America, for .her power was 
paralysed by the growing "pressure of France on her 

I frontiers. 

The French, however, had anticipated the English occupa- 
in securing a footing on the Northern continent, and FrancJof 
were destined to prove the rivals with whom they ^^^^^"1 
had to reckon. After the discovery of Newfoundland behind uie 
and the coast of Canada by John Cabot the value of colonies. 
the fisheries in those waters was quickly realized, and 1497. 
in the early years of the sixteenth century fishermen 
firom Western Europe began to frequent them. 
Jacques Cartier, a fisherman of St. Malo, was sent 1534. 
by Francis I. to explore the Gulf of St. Lawrence, 
and ventured as far as the present site of Montreal. 1535, 
But little was done to follow up the discovery till 
Samud de Champlain sailed up the great river in leos. 
search of furs. Presently he founded Port Royal on leos. 
the present site of Annapolis and established a post 
at Quebec, a point whose natural strength enables 
its possessor to command the navigation of the St. leos. 
Lawrenca To the south he discovered Lake 
Champlain, and, in searching the west for China, 
explored the lakes Huron and Ontario. Port Royal leis. 
and Quebec were taken by the English, but restored 1629. 
to France by Charles I. Meantime, the Company of 1682. 


OHAF. New Fraace was formed, under the aegis of Cardinal 
^^^^^^^^^ Bicheliea, to which waa granted for fifteen years a 

1627. monopoly of the trade of the Stu Lawrence valley. 
It was to settle the country with Catholics, but in 
thirty years it only succeeded in planting 2000 

1664. French. Its charter was cancelled and a new Company 
formed, which was not much more successful. The 
population was indeed trebled, but mainly by the 
energy of the French Grovernment. Ten years later 

1674. this Company was abolished, and thereafter 'New 
France became a royal province, with governor, 
intendant, etc., on the model of the provinces of 

1666. France.'^ The French meantinae had established a 
mission on Lake Superior, from which two of their 
explorers, Joliet and Marquette, reached the head- 

1673. waters of the MissiaeippL Cavalier de la Salle 
1681-82. presently descended that river to its mouth in the 
Gulf of Mexico and claimed the whole valley for 
France under the title of Louisiana. Thus, while 
the English were founding settlements on the Atlantic 
coast, the French were establishing claims in the 
hinterland of the English colonies to the five lakes 
and the two mighty rivers which rise from or near them 
—in &ct, to the great system of waterways by which 
the interior of the continent might be opened to 
settlement. By an encircling mov^ooient from the 
mouth of the St. Lawrence on the north to that 
of the Mississippi on the south, the French had 
completely surrounded the English settlements along 
the seaboard. So long as they commanded the inland 
waterways the English colonies were limited in their 
growth to a strip down the coast which represented 
a fraction of the present territory of the United 
States. The policy of the French was to narrow this 
strip by advancing eastwards up the Ohio and its 
tributaries, and to pjress the English settlements back 

1 Wrong, i&wy. Brii, voL v. p. 157, 11th Ed. 


towards the coast. The policy of the English was chap. 
to connter this move by striking at the French com- 
munications on the St. Lawrence. In the seventeenth 
century no conspicuous success rewarded their efforts, 
and an attack on Quebec from New England was i69o. 
repulsed by the Canadian governor, Frontenac. 

Though the estuary of the St. Lawrence River was struggle 
the key to the inland water system, no government England 
in Europe eould hold that key unless its communica- ^^^^ ^^^ 
tions across the Atlantic were secure. The failure of '^®^' 
French fleets to command the Atlantic was bound to ultimate 
neutralize the success of French armies in America ; ^^^ 
for the system of centralization which enabled France 
to concentrate such powers as she had there was also 
fatal to their local development. In the War of the War of the 
Spanish Succession Britain seized Nova Scotia, which suction, 
had been held by the French under the title of ^702-i3. 
Acadia. By the Peace of Utrecht, which ended the 
war, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland, and the territories 
surrounding Hudson Bay were permanently secured 
to the British Crown. The French, however, kept 
Cape Breton Island, and to replace their losses 
fortified at immense expense the ice-free port of 
Louisbourg, from which in the next war, that of the 
Austrian Succession, they were able to harry the warofthe 
trade of New England. On the proposal of Governor si^^on, 
Shirley the colony attacked the fortress and took it, i7*o-48. 
with the support of four British warships under the 
command of Admiral Warren. *The achievement 
stands by itself as the only considerable warlike 
enterprise undertaken and carried through by the 
American colonists without the instigation, help or 
leadership of the mother-country, other than such 
assistance as Warren's ships rendered in keeping the 
coast clear/ ^ On the opposite side of the globe 
the French had taken Madras, and when temporary 

^ Biadlej, Cambridge Modem Siaiory, vol. vii p. 116. 


CHAP, exhaustion drove both sides to negotiate for peace at 
^,,^^^^^^^^^ Aix-la-Chapelle, it was agreed that the territories 
1748. conquered by each should be handed back to their 
original owners. The English had decidedly the best 
of the exchange.^ *But the Colonies could not be 
expected to see things in the same light. All that 
they saw was that their own trouble and valour had 
been given in vain, and that others entered into the 
fruits of their success.' ^ The cost of the expedition, 
however, was repaid to the colony by England.* 
The ink on this treaty was scarcely dry before the 
French began to press on the western hinterland of 
Pennsylvania and Virginia. The efiForts made by 
Dinwiddie, the Governor of Virginia, and his emissary, 
George Washington, to check their advance, were 
not supported by the colonial assemblies, and Fort 
Duquesne was established on the site where Pittsburg 
now stands. Reinforcements under Braddock were 
despatched by the British Government, but his defeat 
1755. on the Monongahela exposed the settlers along the 
colonial frontiers to massacre by the Indian tribes 
let loose upon them by the French. Meanwhile, the 
English Government ejected from Nova Scotia the 
French inhabitants who, at the instance of the Canadian 
Government, had refused to recognize the sovereignty 
of Britain. The struggles on American soil between 
French and English forces, while the two countries 
were still formally at peace, inevitably led to the 
The Seven Outbreak of the Seven Years' War. The British 
^a™ forces were worsted at almost every point till Pitt's 
1756-68. advent to power changed the course of the struggle. 
Louisbourg was recaptured, and Fort Duquesne, 
abandoned by the French on the approach of Forbes, 
was re-named Pittsburg in honour of the great 

1 Mahan, Inflxunce of Sea Power on History, p. 277. 

* Egerton, Short History of British Colonial Policy, p. 146. 

* Bradley, Cambridge Modem History, vol. vii. p. 166. 


minister. Quebec yielded to Wolfe, and after the chap. 
surrender of Montreal, Canada was for ever severed ,,,^^^„^^^^^ 
from France by the Peace of Paris, which closed the 1759. 
war. The opinion of historians is divided on the i^es. 
question how far by that peace Britain sacrificed 
some of the most valuable fruits of victory. Voices 
were raised in favour of abandoning CSanada in order 
to secure Guadeloupe. Some there were who per- 
ceived how far the fear of conquest by France had 
reconciled the English colonies to the sovereignty of 
the parent commonwealth. Canada, however, was 
retained, and as Louisiana was ceded to Spain, the 
dominion of France in America practically came to 
an end. The British had conquered the New World 
for their institutions, but not, as the event was to 
prove, for themselves. Their struggle for the right 
to colonize North America opened its doors to the 
people of Europe while closing them to the system of 
government for which the Continent stood, and as 
they poured into the mould, they took the shape 
which Britain had impressed on it. 

How little this result was due to any foresight Success 
or purpose on the part of the English is apparent entwpri^r 
when the motives which prompted them to seek a ^^^^^^^^' 
footing in America are examined. From the language dependent 
of modem diplomacy it might almost be inferred that of those 
the nations of Europe value possessions in the other *n^ to 
continents mainly as markets for their own wares. mo<iifyojd 

11 1 11 ideas and 

The simpler and less industrialized society of the methods 
sixteenth century thought less of the goods which conditions. 
such countries would consume than of the wealth they 
could be made to yield, and in that age gold was 
looked upon as almost synonymous with wealth. 
Naturally their statesmen believed that what other 
nations gained from America would be lost to their 
own. Kings, captains, and merchants sent their 
agents from Portugal, Spain, France, Holland, and 


CHAP. England to gather the spoilfi of the West, and each 
^^.^.^^^.^^ fought to exclude the others. Kepresentatives of all 
of them remained and took root in various parts of 
the new continent, and quickly there sprang into 
being communities which drew their vitality from its 
soil. They began to produce the raw materials of 
wealth, and to o£fer them in exchange for the products 
of civilized life which the industries of Europe alone 
could supply. The merchants and artificers of 
Europe thus came to regard their several colonies as 
markets which they were entitled to treat as their 
own preserves. The possibility that they might 
actually do better by opening them to the world at 
large had yet to be recognized, and statesmen of that 
age are no more to be blamed for not perceiving it 
than astronomers before Ciopernicus for assuming that 
this earth was the centre of the Universe. Economics 
had not then been conceived as a science, and the 
commercial conditions from which its more obvious 
conclusions have been drawn were still in embryo. 
Only in the light of experience can the principles of 
human society be discerned, and the best political 
system is that which makes it easiest for people to 
mark the lessons of their own experience and turn 
them to account. Inevitably the nations of Western 
Europe approached the problems of the new era 
under the influence of mediaeval ideas, and the 
failure or success of each in the novel enterprise 
of colonization was destined to depend upon their 
relative capacity for adapting their systems to 
conditions different from those which had produced 
them in Europe. 
Rigidity Gold, as already noticed, was in that age identified 
hiap^iy. with wealth, and a country held wealthy in so for 
insti^u^- as it contained gold. It was not without difficulty 
th'^N^ that the English East India Company got leave to 
World, export gold in limited quantities for the purchase of 


Indian goods. In England, however, the immediate chap. 
and obvious interest of the merchants, coupled with ^^^ 
the national habit of leaving things to take their 
course, averted the more mischievous results of a 
&Ise eeonomie idea. It was otherwise with the 
Spaniards, whose more military habits made it easier 
for them to mistake gold, the natural object of 
plunder, for wealth. To the ^aniflh autocracy 
colonizatkm was a political enterprise mainly under- 
taken with the object of obtaining gold for tibe stata 
' To plant active and self-dependent societies in the 
lands which she had conquered was an ambition alien 
to her genius and her history. In some respects 
her conception of colonization was narrower than 
that of any other people of her time. All sought 
to utilise the resources of the new lands for the 
upbuilding of their own strength; but Spain con- 
tinued to concentrate her attention on, and measure 
her succeed by, the volume of treasure transported to 
her from the New World. Learning little and for- 
getting little, though the art of colonization was 
b^g rapidly transformed, she pursued throughout 
these years her historic course, adding new territory 
by the sword, exploiting principally its mineral 
resources, and seeking to administer it in such a 
manner that it would yield an ample revenue to the 
Crown. ... At Lima and Mexico the Viceroys ruled 
in state^ endowed with abadlute authority, though 
unable always to exercise it in the remoter parts of 
their vast dcNDoiniona . . . The powers possessed by 
the cahUdoSy or town councils,, and the consuladoSy or 
commiercial chambers, of Mexico and Lima, were too 
slight to enable these bodies to modify the character 
BfjoA spirit of so carefully organized a systaEn of 
absolute government. The life of the country was 
quiet, even stagnant; it moved in fixed channels, 
and. lacked the elasticity of develo|Hnent that often 


CHAP, marks the first stages of a young society's progress. 
... It was difficult also, owing to the wee^ness of 
Spain at sea, to protect the coasts from the raids of 
enemies and to prevent contraband trading. But as 
the Spanish population was comparatively small, and 
the greater part lived in towns, which were generally 
well garrisoned, the authority of the Viceroys over 
their subjects was maintained unquestioned. Equally 
unquestioned was the submission of the colony to the 
mother country. This was partly a result of Spanish 
methods of colonization and of the attention lavished 
on the problem of governing dependencies. Without 
faith in her own offspring, Spain was more concerned 
to weaken ihan to strengthen her colonies, and pre- 
cautions were redoubled to ensure their attachment 
to the empire. The authority of the Crown, the 
Church, and the nobility, the three principal agents 
in Spanish colonization, followed swiftly in the foot- 
steps of the conquering generals ; and the political 
conditions of the mother country were speedily 
reproduced in the colony. A despotic government, 
so organized that its different parts should act as a 
check upon each other, suspected by the Crown and 
suspicious of the Creole, laboured to raise a large 
revenue for transmission home. A wealthy Church, 
with numerous clergy and monastic establishments 
and magnificent buildings, pressed upon the pro- 
ductive resources of the country. The tribunal of the 
Inquisition, enjoying great power, sat in the capital 
cities, supervised conduct, and repressed heresy. A 
needy nobility shared out large portions of the land 
in huge estates. Amongst the people in general, law 
and custom combined to stereotype a caste division, 
which fixed the social position of a man and his legal 
rights according to the shade of colour which his skin 
exhibited. The mother country encouraged the 
antagonism which thus separated the various classes 


of her subjects, and felt her authority the more secure chap. 
on this account. But it was impossible to build a 
strong and progressive community by setting the 
home-bom white against the native white, the white 
against the half-breed, the coloured man against the 
white man, the negro against the Indian. . . . But 
what was really more unfortunate for Spain was the 
dwindling away of her colonial trade. In its broadest 
features her commercial policy had not been illiberal 
towards her colonies. No systematic ejBfbrt had been 
made to shackle their indnatrial and agricultural 
progress in favour of producers at home. Skilled 
artisans were permitted to migrate to America, and 
the province of Quito numbered an industrial element 
in its population. If the Spanish colonies were 
economically backward, it was their social organiza- 
tion and the character of their people that placed 
the greatest restraints on their productive powers. 
None the less, the manner in which the mother 
country conducted her commerce with her de- 
pendencies was most injurious both to herself and to 
them. The Casa de Contratotdon, which administered 
the economic affairs of America, pushed its regula- 
tions into the minutest details. Never perhaps has 
a government lavished so much care only to repress 
the energies of its subjects and to ruin their com- 
merce.' ^ 

By the French Court, on the other hand, which character- 
had not as yet become so hide-bound as the Spanish autocracy 
autocracy, some disposition to give play to individual JS^^]p?^h 
enterprise was shown. The funds for the Canadian methods of 

'■' , coloniza- 

settlements were first supplied by merchants, but ' an tion. 
indication of an early intention on the part of the 
Crown to treat the colonies on imperial principles 
appears in the title ** Viceroy," long before given to 

* Benian, Cambridge Modem History, vol. v. pp. 680, 681, 682, 683, 684. 
See also Note C at the eud of this chapter, p. 227. 



CHAP. Soberval and now again to Cond^, as whose agent 
Champlain acted from 1612 with the title ''Lieutenant- 
General." ' ^ After the first forty years the efforts of 
indiridual enterprise were swept aside by the state, 
and as Professor Wrong has observed, Canada was 
organized as ' a royal province, with governor, 
intendant, etc., on the model of the provinces of 
France.' 'At first it seemed likely that municipal 
institutions would develop^ In 1668 a meeting of 
the habitants of Quebec and its hanlieu was con- 
voked to proceed by election to the choice of a mayor 
and two bailiff. The election threateuied to becomie 
a reality ; whereupon the system was cancelled, and 
the municipal idea was rooted out from Canada. 
De Tracy urged TaLon to avoid any "balance of 
authority among subjects," which might lead to a 
dismemberment of the community.' * At this time, 
when the Court wsfi endeavouring to exterminate the 
Huguenots or to ejeet them from France, 'One of 
the ablest of Canadian governors, La Galissoni^re, 
seeing the feebleness of the colony compared with 
the vastness of its claims, advised the King to send 
ten thousand peasants to occupy the vaUey of the 
Ohio, and hold back the Britii^ swarm that was just 
then pushing its advance-guard over the All^hanies. 
It needed no effort of the King to people lus waste 
domain, not with ten thousand peasants, but with 
twenty times ten thousand Frenchmen of every 
station, — the most industrious, most instructed, most 
disciplined by adversity and capable of self-rule, that 
the country could boast.' ^ ' When some Huguenots 
made application to join the colony, Louis XIY.'s 
reply was that he had not chaaed the heretics from 
his kingdom in order to found a republic for them 

^ Batesou, Cambridge Modem History, vol. viL p. 72. 

* Ibid, vol. vii. p. 81. 

' Parkman, Montcalm cuid fFoffe, vol. i. pp. 28-4. 


in America.' ^ * While La Galissoni^re was asking chap. 

for colonists, the agents of the Crown . . . were 

pouring volleys of musketry iiito Huguenot con- 
gregations, imprisoning for life those innocent of all 
but their faith, — the men in the galleys, the women 
in the pestiferous dungeons of Aigues Mortes, — 
hanging their ministers, kidnapping their children, 
and reviving, in short, the dragonnades. Now, as 
in the past century, many of the victims escaped to 
the British colonies, and became a part of them. 
The Huguenots would have hailed as a boon the per- 
mission to emigrate under the fleur-de-lis, and build 
up a Protestant France in the valleys of the West. 
It would have been a bane of absolutism, but a 
national glory ; would have set bounds to English 
colonization, and changed the face of the continent.' * 
'The contesting forces which at this epoch were to 
settle the destinies of North America were numerically 
insignificant; and it is possible that ten thousand 
sturdy Huguenot settlers sent up the Mississippi at 
this moment might have changed the history of the 
world.' • * The opportunity was spurned. France 
built its best colony on a principle of exclusion, and 
failed ; England reversed the system, and succeeded.'* 
Afi in the Spanish colonies, the system of centraliza- 
tion natural to a despotism checked the growth of 
any local sense of responsibility. * Canada was the 
prey of official jackals, — true lion's providers, since 
they helped to prepare a way for the imperial beast, 
who, roused at last from his lethargy, was gathering 
his strength to seize her for his own. Hbnesty could 
not be expected from a body of men clothed with 
arbitrary and ill-defined powers, ruling with absolute 
sway an unfortunate people who had no voice in their 

' Bateson, Cambridge Modem History ^ vol. vii. p. 88. 
' Parkman, Montcalm amd Wo\fey yoI. 1. p. 24. 

* Bateson, Cambridge Modem History ^ vol. vii. p. 114. 

* Parkman, Montcalm and Wolfe^ vol. L p. 24. 


CHAP, own destinies, and answerable only to an apathetic 
master three thousand miles away.' ^ When Canada 
was irretrievably lost to France a public inquiry in 
Paris brought to light the manner in whic^ the 
officials had plundered the French Government and 
the people of the colony. Too late the King dis- 
covered that the stcnres which might have enabled the 
colony to resist Wolfe had been sold for their own 
profit by the intendant and his accomplices. 
Superior- The French system, however, secured to their 

French^ Icadcrs a power of concentration in policy and war 
handling which almost made up for the weakness of their 
Indians, tesources. In no direction was this advantage more 
marked than in the handling of native a£fair8, for the 
centralized and despotic government of Canada was 
able to maintain a uniform control of its own 
colonists in their dealings with the Indian tribes. 
In the English territories a dozen democracies were 
all handling the natives in different ways, or, to be 
more accurate, were failing to handle them at all or 
to establish any orderly relations between the two 
races. Here as elsewhere had begun the inevitable 
conflict between civilized and tribal notions of tenure. 
To the Indians, with their communal ideas, their 
hunting grounds were regarded as tribal pix)perty. 
What was every man's land the colonist deemed to be 
no man's land, of which each new-comer was free to 
appropriate so much as he needed for his own use. 
The communal system of a primitive people was 
ignored, and the Europeans imposed on the country 
their own system of individual ownership. That 
pathetic cry, long heard in Ireland and destined to 
be re-echoed wherever men bred under the individual* 
istic laws of civilized states have invaded the com- 
munes of tribal societies, was now raised in America. 
' We don't know what you Christians, En^ish and 

^ Parkman, Monicalm and Wolfe^ vol. ii. p. 33. 


French, intend/ said one of the Indians. *We are chap. 
80 hemmed in by you both that we have hardly a ^" 
hunting-place left. In a little while, if we find a 
bear in a tree, there will immediately appear an 
owner of the land to claim the property and hinder 
ua from killing it, by which we Uve. We are so 
perplexed between you that we hardly know what to 
say or think.' ^ The problems were such as the 
autocratic French government could control far better 
than the weak and numerous governments of the 
English colonies. It is never so hard for a people 
who have learnt how to govern themselves to mete 
out justice to those who have not, as where they have 
rooted themselves and made their home in the soil of 
a more backward society. It is this which accounts 
for the contrast between England's success in India 
and her failure in Ireland. In mixed societies the 
subject race may fare worse than under autocracies 
such as those which Spain and France established. 
In North America, however, the French and English 
had a direct motive for enlisting the aid of the natives 
against each other, and in bidding for their support 
the centralized French Government had a great 
advantage. It was only when the power of the 
French began visibly to fail that the majority of 
the Indians definitely transferred their allegiance to 
the other side. 

This same unity of control in all the operations Methods 
of war nearly enabled the French to defeat the ^lonwa^ 
divided councils and forces of the English who out- ^^fica^i^ 
numbered them by more than twelve to one. Their opmmer- 
disunion, indeed, was due to methods of colonization religious 
as diverse and casual as those of Spain and France ™°^^^®*' 
were uniform and systematic. Visions of the fabled 
El Dorado and of the boundless supplies of wealth 

^ New York Colonial Doewnania, vi 818, qootdd by Parkman, MorUccUm 
and Wolft^ vol i. pp. 178-9. 


CHAP, to be drawn therefrom in the form of gold had figured 
largely even in the mind of Raleigh. But the growth 
of commerce and the experience it brought suggested 
other and sounder reasons for securing a footing on 
the American continent. The Government as well 
as the merchants of England had begun to realize 
that its safety as well as material prosperity had 
come to depend on sea -borne traffic They foresaw 
the risk of an attempt, such as Napoleon actually 
made two centuries later, to starve England into 
submission by closing the ports of Europe against 
her. From the Continent she drew not merely the 
wealth to pay for the ships that defended her shores, 
but also the actual materials from which they were 
built. Then, as in the days of Nelson, she depended 
on the Baltic for tar, pitch, rosin, flax, cordage, 
masts, yards, timber, and other naval stores.^ The 
idea was conceived that all these stores, and many 
other things as well, notably wines, for which England 
was dependent on Southern Europe, could be drawn 
from America. Both these motives, political and 
material, find expression in the words of a pamph- 
leteer of the time : ' We shall reare again such 
marchants shippes both tall and stout, as no forreine 
sayle that swimmes shall make them vaile or stoope, 
whereby to make this little northerne comer of the 
world the richest storehouse and staple for mar- 
chandize in all Europe.' * But that motives were at 
work other than those of policy or trade is evident 
from a prayer which appears in a contemporary 
pamphlet to ' That merciful and tender God who is 
both easie and glad to be entreated, that it would 
please Him to bless and water these feeble beginnings, 
and that as He is wonderful in all His workes, so to 
nourish this graine of seed that it may spread till 

1 Egerton, A ShoH History of BrUisk Colonial Policy, p. 23. 
» Ibid, p. 41. 


the people of this earth admire the greatnesse and ohap. 
aeeke the shade and fruits thereof/ ^ v..-,..^^,^ 

Thus, the religious as well as the commercial Private 
* feelings of the people sympathized with the national and^inde- 
instinct to put 'a byt into the anchent enymye's p^^^^*^ 
mouth.' Individual enterprise was less trammelled awistance 
in England than in any part of the Continent, and gaishinx 
English adventurers were readier, even than thpse ^gf 
of Holland, to rely on their own eflForts to gain their enterprise 
own ends. They were not so much concerned to 
secure active assistance from government as guarantees 
that it would leave them a free hand to carry through 
whatever they undertook. The successive patents 
granted by the Grown were rather of the nature of 
licences defining the limits within which private 
adventurers were free to act. As in the case of the 
East India Company, the sinews of the enterprise 
were furnished by private individuals or associations. 
The incorporators of the Virginia Company consisted 16O6. 
of 56 City Companies and 659 private persons, of 
whom 21 were peers, 96 knights, 11 professional men, 
53 captains, 28 esquires, 58 gentlemen, 110 merchants, 
and 282 citizens.^ At least 2,000,000 square miles 
had been claimed by England in the patent granted 
to Raleigh, but of this tract not more than one- 
hundredth was allotted to two Corporations, one of 
which was the Virginia Company. For the super- 
vision of the whole territory there was called into 
being a second edition of the Privy Council, styled 
' The Royal Council of Virginia.' 

The freedom with which the regulations for the 
government of the colony in Virginia were varied 
in the earlier years of its existence suflSiciently reveals 
the habit already formed by Englishmen of feeling 
their way little by little as experience might suggest. 

^ Egerton, A Short History 0/ British Colonial Policy , pp. 41-2. 
' Ibid. p. 25. 




tion in 
New World 
from the 
outset of 
lying the 
tions of 
countries ; 
in the 
of France 
and Spain, 
and tne 
spirit of 

and local 
control in 
those of 

to the 
of Virginia 
and to the 
for which 
it stood. 

In the colonies of Spain and France the institutions of 
autocracy reproduced themselves and crushed any 
faint attempts towards individual enterprise which 
appeared at the outsetw Absolutism was ultimately- 
fatal whether to private experiments in the practice 
of government or to the growth of municipal in- 
stitutions. In exactly the same way the principles 
which underlay the institutions of the Englirfi 
Commonwealth began to assert themselves after the 
first few years. *In 1619 ... a new order of 
things was set on foot by the summoning of a 
popular Assembly, which met on the 30th of July of 
that year. Hutchinson speaks of it as "breaking 
out," and Professor Seeley has repeated the ex- 
pression. But, in fact, it was duly summoned 
by Yeardley, according to the instructions which 
he had received from home. The Assembly was 
to be composed of the Governor and his Council, 
together with Burgesses, elected by the freemen 
from each plantation, each county and hundred 
returning two members. The Assembly was to 
have power to make and ordain whatsoever laws 
and orders should by them be thought good and 
profitable.' ^ 

* That the settlement of Virginia had given great 
dissatisfaction to Spain is of course certain. The 
very valuable collection of Simanca documents first 
collected in Mr. Brown's Genesis of the United States, 
enables us to follow in detail the intrigues and plots 
of Spain against the young Colony, for the first ten 
years of its existence. We now recognize that a 
ceaseless diplomatic war was carried on by Spain 
against the interests of the Colony. She is found 
screwing up her courage to make an end, once and 
for all, of the intruder, but for one reason or another 
postponing the effort. It was hoped in Spain that 

* Egerton, A Slwrt History of British Colonial Policy, pp. 31-2. 


the death of Prince Henry ^ would make the business chap. 


grow cooler, while at another time, the Colony appears 
dying of itself. In 1613 we hear of a formal claim 
made to Virginia under the Papal Bull, and a hot dis- 
pute between the English ambassador and the Spanish 
Secretary of State. And an expedition from Lisbon 
to destroy the Colony was on the point of starting. 

* The author of the pamphlet, " A perfect description 
of Virginia," published in 1649, states that *'it is 
well known that our English plantations have had 
Httle countenances, nay, that our statesmen, when 
time was, had store of Gondemore's ^ gold to destroy 
and discountenance the plantation of Virginia ; and 
he effected it in a great part, by dissolving the 
Company, wherein most of the nobility, gentry, 
corporate cities, and most merchants of England 
were interested and engaged; after the expense of 
some hundreds of thousands of pounds. For Gunde- 
more did affirm to his friends that he had commission 
from His Master to ruin that plantation. For, said he, 
should they thrive and go on increasing as they have 
done, under the government of that popular Lord 
of Southampton, my master's West Indies and his 
Mexico would shortly be visited by sea, and by 
land, from those planters of Virginia. And Marquis 
Hambleton told the Earle of Southampton that 
Gundemore said to King James that the Virginia Courts 
were but a seminarie to a seditious Parliament."'^ 
Something more was afoot than a struggle of states 
for the possession of America. Behind it was a 
mortal conflict of principles, inevitable as soon as 
both were applied to a new and common sphere. 
The despotism of Spain instinctively felt that the 
active little democracy which had entered its preserve 

^ Elder brother of Charles I. and an enUiusiast for English colon issation. 

' Spanish Ambassador at the Court of St. James. 

' Egerton, A Short History of British Coloiiial Policy^ pp. 35-6. 




Failure of 



to select 



which led 
to colon- 
ization of 
in America 



was the embodiment of an ideal fatal to its own. 
' In the bottom of its cold heart it was afraid/ and 
history has proved that its fears were just. ' Happily 
for the world, the misfortunes of the Colony were 
such as to enable the Spanish power half to delude 
itself into the belief that it was rather the unimport- 
ance of Virginia than its own inherent incapacity, 
which allowed the egg to be hatched from which was 
to arise a cockatrice to Spain's American Empire/ ^ 

The importance of the Virginia Company lies 
chiefly in the fact that the English Government was 
led by its enterprise to make formal claim to the 
coast belt of North America. Where the Company 
failed was in finding settlers of character, and many 
of those sent out were described as ' unruly gallants, 
packed thither by their friends to escape ill-destinies.' ^ 
In order to obtain quick profits its efforts were con- 
centrated on the planting of tobacco, and labourers 
were sought for the plantations without any regard to 
their fitness to form the nucleus of a future com- 
munity. Very early in the history of chartered 
companies the inherent conflict between their duty to 
their shareholders and their duty to the * unborn 
millions ' ^ who would people their territories began to 
assert itself. 

But other forces already at work were soon to 
supply the material from which the real fibre of the 
national character was to be drawn. The English 
Reformation in the sixteenth century was a revolt 
against that spirit of uniformity which was the legacy 
to Europe of the Roman Empire. It was, however, 
but the first of many steps towards toleration in 
matters of religion. So far as the intentions of 
Government were concerned it meant that in England, 

^ Egerton, A Short HiMory of British Colonial Policy^ p. 86. 
« Ibid. p. 30. 

' Sir George Grey's favourite phrase when addressing the people of New 


church and state once for all repudiated the authority chap. 
of Rome. Such a step was, of course, rendered 
possible by the spirit of Protestantism which had been 
growing amongst the lower ranks of the people from 
the time of Wyclif onwards. But what Henry VIII. 
denied to Bome, he and his successors claimed for 
themselves. Freedom had many battles to win before 
the English Government was willing to allow English- 
men the right to adopt what form of religion they 
chose. As the Catholic sovereigns had persecuted 
those who denied the authority of Rome, so their 
Protestant successors persecuted those who denied 
their own authority as heads of the English Church. 
But in heading the secession from Rome they had 
released elements of revolt against all authority in 
matters of faith too strong for themselves to suppress ; 
and for more than two centuries dissenters and papists 
were ali^e the victims of official persecution. 

James L was especially zealous in asserting his The 
claim to religious obedience, and certain noncon- FaSera. 
formists of Scrooby, near Nottingham, took refuge at ^gXte 
Leyden from his vexatious measures, but after some character 
eleven or twelve years it seemed better to them to ^^^^' 
move to some place where their little community would 
not be in danger of merging its identity and character 
in an alien race. * Amongst many other inconveni- 
ences,' they considered 'how hard the Country was 
where we lived, how many spent their estate in it, 
and were forced to return for England, how grievous 
to live from under the protection of the State of 
England ; how like we were 'to lose our language, and 
our name of English ; how little good wee did, or were 
like to do to the Dutch in reforming the Sabbath ; 
how unable there to give such education to our 
children, as wee our selves had received, etc.' ^ A con- 
cession was obtained from the Virginia Company, and 

* Winslow, Hypocrme Uhmaskedy p. 89. 


CHAP, on the 6th September 1620, the Mayflower started 
on her famous Toyage with aboot 120 of them on 
board. Through stress of weather and the unwilling- 
ness of the ship's company to carry them farther, they 
were forced in December to land in the harbour which 
lies behind Cape Cod, on the coast of New England. 

Within a few hours of going ashore the first party 
were obliged to defend themselves with firearms 
against an attack from Indians. Half their number 
died of scurvy in the first few months. ^ It is not 
with us,' wrote their leader, *as with other men 
whom small things can discourage, or small discon- 
tentments cause to wish themselves at home again.' ^ 
Founda- The spot whcrc th^ landed was North of the 

New"* region granted to the Virginia Company, from which 
ofN^w^ they held their concession, and in the territory 
Plymouth, allotted by royal charter a month before to the 
• written Plymouth Company lately established * for the 
tion. * " planting, ordering, ruling, and governing of New 
England in America.'* From it they obtained a 
concession in 1621, and three years later were able 
to purchase the rights of the Company itself * I 
shall a litle returne backe,' says their chronicler, Brad- 
ford, the second governor of the colony, * and begine 
with a combination made by them before they came 
a shore, being the first foundation of their govem- 
mente in this place ; occasioned partly by the 
discontented and mutinous speeches that some of 
the strangers amongst them had let fall from them 
in the ship ; That when they came a shore they 
would use their owne libertie; for none had power 
to command them, the patente they had being for 
Virginia, and not for New england, which belonged 
to an other Goverment, with which the Virginia 
Company had nothing to doe. And partly that 

^ Egerton, A Short History of British Colonial Policy, p. 42. 
2 Ihid. p. 42. 


shuch an aete by them done (this their condition chap. 
considered) might be as firme as any patent, and 
in some respects more sure. 

* The forme was as foUoweth. 

' In the name of God, Amen. We whose names 
are underwriten, the loyaU subjects of our dread 
soveraigne Lord, King James, by the grace of God, 
of Great Britaine, Franc, and Ireland king, defender 
of the faith, etc. 

* Haveing undertaken, for the glorie of God, and 
advancemente of the Christian faith, and honour 
of our king and countrie, a voyage to plant the 
first colonic in the Northerne parts of Virginia, 
doe by these presents solemnly and mutualy in 
the presence of God, and one of another, covenant 
and combine our selves togeather into a civill body 
politick, for our better ordering and preservation 
and furtherance of the ends aforesaid ; and by vertue 
hearof to enacte, constitute, and frame shuch just 
and equall lawes, ordinances, acts, constitutions, 
and offices, from time to time, as shall be thought 
most meete and convenient for the generall good 
of the Colonic, unto which we promise all due sub- 
mission and obedience. In witnes whereof we have 
hereunder subscribed our names at Cap-Codd the 
11 of November, in the year of the raigne of our 
soveraigne lord, King James, of England, France, 
and Ireland, the eighteenth, and of Scotland the 
fiftie fourth. Anno Dom. 1620.' ' 

This document has often been described as the Nature 
first written constitution, and for the purpose of the document 
present inquiry it is of interest to consider wherein aXVcd. 
consisted its efficacy as a basis for the government 
of New Plymouth. It is usual .to describe it as 
a 'compact of government,'^ and in form it un- 

* Bradfoi-d, History of Plymouth Plantatianj pp. 189-91. 
' Egerton, A Short History of British Colo7tial Policy, p. 42. 


CHAP, questionably was so. But if its value depended 

on compact, its force must have expired with those 

who signed it. In essence it was a confession of 

purpose and faith, a dedication for all time and all 

purposes by the founders of the community to its 

general interest, not only of themselves, but of all 

who should hereafter come within its jurisdiction. 

In practice [its efficacy depended on a sufficient 

recognition by a sufficient number of colonists of 

their duty to uphold the government it established, 

whether by restraining enemies who threatened its 

existence from without, or by constraining to 

obedience those who might question its authority 

from within. Even in this small and heroic company 

there were already some, as the narrative shows, who 

had declared their intention of putting their own 

interests before those of the community, and the 

document originated in the determination of the 

others to suppress such conduct by force. There 

were dangers from without, moreover, to be reckoned 

with, and Bradford indicates that the necessity of 

acme military organization was recognized from the 

outset. ' After this they chose, or rather confirmed, 

Mr. John Carver (a man godly and well approved 

amongst them) their Govemour for that year. And 

after they had provided a place for their goods, or 

comone store, (which were long in unlading for want 

of boats, foulnes of the winter weather, and sicknes 

of diverce,) and begune some small cottages for their 

habitation, as time would admitte, they mette and 

consulted of lawes and orders, both for their civill 

and military Governmente, as the necessitie of 

their condition did require, still adding therunto as 

urgent occasion in severall times, and as cases did 


* In these hard and difficulte beginings they found 
• some discontents and murmurings arise amongst 


some, and mutinous speeches and carriages in other ; ohap. 
but they were soone quelled and overcome by the 
wisdome, patience, and just and equall carrage of 
things by the Gov(enio)r and better part, which 
clave faithfully togeather in the maine. ' ^ The narrative 
by its very simplicity lays bare the foundation of the 
state. Freeman himself might have learned from it 
that even a commonwealth cannot escape the necessity 
of constraining unwilling subjects.^ States are not 
based on force and cannot be founded on self-interest. 
On the contrary, they originate in the truth that men 
cannot live by bread alone, together with all that 
that truth implies. As no state can rest on force so 
none can exist without using it to impose the con- 
science of the community upon those who repudiate 
its demands. If no limit can be allowed to the duty 
owed by the citizen to his commonwealth, that 
boundless duty may require him to exercise force 
when summoned by law to vindicate its claim. 

Further settlements were made by the Puritans in Founda- 
New England, the most important being that of the fisher 
Massachusetts Bay Company under a charter secured ^J[}^° 
by John Winthrop. Thus from the original stock of menta at 
English radicalism, which was destined henceforward chusetta 
to play so large a part in the life of the British ^fXere, 
Commonwealth, were planted communities which ^^^9. 
aspired at the outset to be virtually independent of 
the British connection." 

Their example was followed by Roman Catholics, Roman 
who sought to find in a new country freedom from ^etUement 
the annoyance to which they were subjected at home. i^n^^'Jgg 
One of their leaders, Lord Baltimore, obtained a 
charter for the colonization of Maryland, the practical 

1 Bradford, Hi$tory of PlymnUh Plantation 16X0-1647, pp. 189-98. 

* See Note D at end of this chapter, p. 228. 

3 Egerton, A Short History of British Colonial Policy, p. 45. See also 
Osgood, The American Colonies in the Seventeenth Century, vol. iii. p. 512, 
and Winthrop's Journal, vol. ii. pi 301. 


CHAP, effect of which was to allow the exercise of the 
Eoman Catholic religion. As the next Lord Baltimore 
wrote, his father * had absolute liberty to carry over 
any from his Majesty's dominions willing to go. But 
he found very few but such as for some reason or 
other could not live in other places, and could not 
conform to the laws of England relating to religion. 
These declared themselves willing to plant in this 
province, if they might have a general toleration 
settled by a law, by which all, of all sorts, who 
professed Christianity in general might be at 
liberty to worship God in the manner most agreeable 
to their conscience without being subject to i^ny 
penalties. ' ^ 
Result of In the patents granted in the last century to 
i^^E^gr4 Gilbert and Raleigh, conformity with the Church of 
colonies in EnjDfland had been prescribed in terms. Professor 

fostering ^ ^ 

their Egcrtou shows that Charles I., while attempting to 

Sntrasted cuforcc confomiity in England, deliberately sanctioned 

TofiliiM' *^^ policy of leaving the American settlers to use 

^fCon- what form of worship they chose. Nothing could 

states. better illustrate the contrast between the tendencies 

at work on the Continent and in England. The 

Inquisition planted at the outset in the Spanish 

colonies gnawed their vitality from within. The 

French Court closed Canada to the Huguenots who 

sought to escape its persecution. In England the 

very kings who contested the claims of Parliament 

and endeavoured to enforce conformity to the 

established church were fain to wink at dissent in all 

its forms when practised beyond the Atlantic. The 

traditions of the national life were too strong for 

them, and the consequence was that some of its more 

vigorous elements poured into the colonies and 

flourished there. After them entered kindred elements 

from countries which denied to the spirit of in- 

^ Egei-tou, A SKori History of British Colonial Policy, pp. 47-8. 


dependence an asylum even in their own colonies, chap. 
The Huguenots shut out from Canada found freedom 
and safety beneath the English flag. Religious 
persecution there was, but it was instituted not by 
the English Government but by the colonists them- 
selves and was soon extinguished by public sentiment. 
From Virginia the Anglicans sought to exclude 
dissenters. In New England the Puritans were 
equally hostile to Quakers and to English and Eoman 
Catholics. The latter had their headquarters in 
Maryland where, however, there was a large dissent- 
ing population. At a later date Pennsylvania came 
into existence as the outcome of Penn's Holy 
Experiment. It was ' a conglomerate of creeds 
and races, — English, Irish, Germans, Dutch, and 
Swedes; Quakers, Lutherans, Presbyterians, Roman- 
ists, Moravians, and a variety of nondescript sects. 
The Quakers prevailed in the eastern districts ; quiet, 
industrious, virtuous, and serenely obstinate. The 
Germans were strongest towards the centre of the 
colony, and were chiefly peasants ; successful farmers, 
but dull, ignorant, and superstitious. Towards the 
west were the Irish, of whom some were Celts, always 
quarrelling with their German neighbors, who de- 
tested them ; but the greater part were Protestants 
of Scotch descent, from Ulster; a vigorous border 
population.' ' 

In New York, * the English, joined to the Dutch, 
the original settlers, were the dominant population ; 
but a half-score of other languages were spoken in 
the province, the chief among them being that of the 
Huguenot French in the southern parts, and that of 
the Germans on the Mohawk. In religion, the 
province was divided between the Anglican Church, 
with government support and popular dislike, and 
numerous dissenting sects, chiefly Lutherans, In- 

^ Parkman, Montcalm and Wolfe, vol. i. pp. 33-4. 


CHAP, dependents, Presbyterians, and members of the Dutch 
"^ . Reformed Church.'^ 

The general result is summed up by Parkman in 
the following words : * The thirteen British colonies 
were alike, insomuch as they all had representative 
governments, and a basis of English law. But the 
differences among them were great. Some were 
purely English ; others were made up of various 
races, though the Anglo-Saxon was always predom- 
inant. Some had one prevailing religious creed ; 
others had many creeds. Some had charters, and 
some had not. In most cases the governor was 
appointed by the Crown ; in Pennsylvania and Mary- 
land he was appointed by a feudal proprietor, and in 
Connecticut and Rhode Island he was chosen by the 
people. The differences of disposition and character 
were still greater than those of form.^ 

'. . . The attitude of these various colonies towards 
each other is hardly conceivable to an American 
of the present time. They had no political tie 
except a common allegiance to the British Crown. 
Communication between them was difficult and slow, 
by rough roads traced often through primeval forests. 
Between some of them there was less of sympathy 
than of jealousy kindled by conflicting interests 
or perpetual disputes concerning boundaries. The 
patriotism of the colonist was bounded by the lines 
of his government, except in the compact and kindred 
colonies of New England, which were socially united, 
though politically distinct. The country of the New 
Yorker was New York, and the country of the 
Virginian was Virginia. The New England colonies 
had once confederated; but, kindred as they were, 
they had long ago dropped apart. William Penn 
proposed a plan of colonial union wholly fruitless. 

^ Parkman, Montcalm and Wolfe^ vol. i. pp. 34-5. 
* TWd. vol. i. pp. 27-8. 


James II. tried to unite all the northern colonies chap. 
under one government; but the attempt came to 
naught. Each stood aloof, jealously independent. 
At rare intervals, under the pressure of an emergency, 
some of them would try to act in concert ; and, except 
in New England, the results had been most discourag- 
ing. Nor was it this segregation only that unfitted 
them for war. They were all subject to popular legisla- 
tures, through whom alone money and men could be 
raised; and these elective bodies were sometimes 
factious and selfish, and not always either far-sighted or 
reasonable. Moreover, they were in a state of cease- 
less firiction with their governors, who represented 
the King, or, what was worse, the feudal proprietary. 
These disputes, though varying in intensity, were 
found everywhere except in the two small colonies 
which chose their own governors; and they were 
premonitions of the movement towards independence 
which ended in the war of Revolution. The occasion 
of difference mattered little. Active or latent, the 
quarrel was always present. In New York it turned on 
a question of the governor's salary ; in Pennsylvania 
on the taxation of the proprietary estates ; in Virginia 
on a fee exacted for the issue of land patents. It 
was sure to arise whenever some public crisis gave 
the representatives of the people an opportunity of 
extorting concessions from the representative of the 
Crown, or gave the representative of the Crown an 
opportunity to gain a point for prerogative. That 
is to say, the time when action was most needed was 
the time chosen for obstructing it. 

* In Canada there was no popular legislature to 
embarrass the central power. The people, like an 
army, obeyed the word of command, — a military 
advantage beyond all price. 

* Divided in government ; divided in origin, feelings, 
and principles ; jealous of each other, jealous of the 



CHAP. Crown ; the people at war with the executive, and, 
"^ by the fermentation of internal politicB, blinded to 
an outward danger that seemed remote and vague, 
— ^Buch were the conditions under which the British 
colonies drifted into a war that was to decide the 
fate of the continent. 

' This war was the strife of a united and concentred 

few against a divided and discordant many. It was 

the strife, too, of the past against the future ; of the 

old against the new ; of moral and intellectual torpor 

against moral and intellectual life; of barren 

absolutism against a liberty, crude, incoherent, and 

chaotic, yet full of prolific vitality.'^ 

SnoceMof No cAudid ethnologist would hesitate to declare 

^^^^ that a natural superiority has enabled the people of 

tion due JJurope rather than those of Africa to discover and 

to supenor * ^ 

capacity posscss America. It would be difficult, however, to 
tion ^ point to qualities inherent in the English which 
secured by ^ty^g^igj^ them abovc their neighbours on the 

Inhe^^ Continent. The materials from which the nations of 

common- Europe are drawn are too closely akin, and in Britain, 

^^ ' at any rate, these materials are so mixed that it is 

impossible to establish any theory of racial supmority. 

English success in planting North America, and in 

the comparative failure of their rivals must, in fact, 

be traced to the respective merits not of breed but of 

' institutions. In the course of the last few thousand 

years the peoples of Europe have distinguished 

themselves &om those of Asia, Africa, America, and 

Oceana by their higher capacity for adaptation. 

Nowhere had this capacity such free play as in the 

islands protected by the British Channel, with the 

result that it developed there a society which differed 

specifically from that of the Continent. The English 

had advanced further than the other nations of 

Europe in replacing the personal authority of rulers 

^ Parkman, Montcalm and Wolft, vol. i. pp. 36-8. 


by laws based on the experieiice of those who obeyed ohap. 
them and subject to reykiion in thie light of theii 
future experience. From its nature such a system 
was bound to succeed better tiian a less flexible one 
when apjdied to conditions that were entirely new. 
In the Middle Ages the rule of Law, by lisiitiDg the 
activity of personal rulers, made a larger call on the 
initiative of the subject, while it left him with greater 
freedom of action. In private enterprise the English 
adventurers of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries 
surpassed those of Europe in mueh the same way 
as the Athenians had surpassed the Spartans two 
thousand years bef(»:e. When the methods of the 
English and thair Continental rivals are examined 
thiJs difference will be £Dund in many directions. 
Spanish cdonization depended from the outset on the 
support as well as the direction of the Court. For 
a time the French monarchy used the agency of 
companies under the aegis of some minister hke 
Richelieu ; but so disappointing were tibe results that 
ere long the government swept the companies aside 
and took the task into its own hands. On the surface 
the Ccmtinental system might seem to have every- 
thing in its favour. It meant thsM} a colonial enter- 
prise had behind it the whole resources of the state, 
and it might naturally be supposed that an organized 
govemm^it with its power of general control would 
be able to apply these resources to the best purpose. 
' Private purses are cowlde oompforters to adventurers 
and have been founde £atall to all enterprises hitherto 
undertaken by the English by reason of ddaies and 
jeloces and unwiUingnes to backe that project, which 
succeeded not at the first attempt.'^ These words, 
quoted £rom a pamphlet of the time, show how feeble 
the resources of English adventurers must hav« looked 

^ 'Reasons for raising a Fund for the Support of a Colony at Virginia,' 
quoted by £gerton, A Short History of British Colonial Polieyy pp. 24-5. 


CHAP, when first matched against enterprises backed by the 
"' treasuries of Spain and France. Thinkers of that age 
may well have felt that the planting of colonies, no 
less than the conduct of war, was essentially a task 
for organized govemmenta But various as were 
the problems of military science, they were not so 
various as those of colonization, and indeed no 
practical problem could be wider than one which 
related to the construction of human society. In 
war there were certain methods and principles, 
recognized as the result of long experience, which 
governments had to go upon. But at the close of 
the Middle Ages the problem of planting civilized 
societies in countries differing widely from those in 
which their own civilization had been developed was 
practically a new one. The compensating merits of 
the English system were to appear more gradually, 
as the novelty of the conditions which Europe was 
trying to handle began to assert itself These 
conditions were extremely diverse and the principles 
to be followed in dealing ^th them less ob^ous 
than those which govern war. Ultimate success in 
an untried region of enterprise can only be secured 
as the fruit of experience. Many different attempts 
must be made and remade until the right principles 
and their appropriate methods are recognized in the 
few survivals from many failures. 'Planting of 
Countries,' says Bacon, ' is like Planting of Woods ; 
For you must make account, to leese almost Twenty 
yeeres Profit, and expect your Recompense, in the 
end.' ^ He might have added that, in other respects, 
it is like sinking for mines. The greater the number 
of trials that are made, the more likely are a few 
successes in the end to outweigh the loss involved 
in all the failures. The most likely places for 
settlement and the methods applicable to each will 

^ Bacon, EMsaya, zxxiL 


gradually reveal themselves where the attempts are ohap. 
sufficiently numeroua and varied. In this respect "» 
the English system gained by the freedom it left to 
private adventures, for schemes were launched by 
a number of people for a variety of motives at many 
diflFerent points and in many diflferent ways. The 
state was not identified with the success or failure of 
any particular venture, and in case of disaster the 
loss was limited in extent. Settlements took root 
wherever the choice of the district and method was 
happy, and once established were capable of an 
indefinite growth in time to come. 

It was natural and inevitable that all the mother Policy of 
states should set out to reproduce in the New World xiv* in 
their own social, religious, and political systems, and y!^^ 
this was true of England no less than of the others, i^stitu- 

■Tfc 1 • • • £• r« • 1 -n tions on 

But the mstitutions of Spam and France were Canada. 
riveted on the infant communities like plates of 
armour too strong for them to burst as they grew. 
Cramped into the harness of Spanish and French 
society which was quite out of keeping with their 
new conditions, they were crippled in the process. 
The system of nobility was transferred to the soil of 
America. Nothing could have been less suited to a 
new and growing society than the feudal system of 
land tenure evolved by Europe in the Dark Ages, 
yet it was forced on Canada in all its rigidity by 
Louis XIV. Its fundamental principles prevailed 
everywhere in France ; but while the monarchy was 
still weak the various provinces had developed their 
own local customs, and in certain provinces these 
customs had been reduced to codes of which the clearest 
and most concise was the * Custom of Paris.' The 
fact that most of the officials, priests, and merchants 
in Canada came from the capital is the most likely 
reason why this particular code was prescribed as 
the system of land tenure for Canada. Most of the 




Power of 
secured to 
bv the 

habitants, however, were used to the Custom of 
Normandy from which they eame^ a code adapted to 
suit the rural conditions of that province. The 
Custom of Paris, of which they knew nothing, was 
a code framed to suit the conditions of a thickly 
populated and highly developed district. * Again 
and again the colonial courts and the administrative 
officials found themselves called upon to settle dis- 
putes which, but for the almost entire ignorance of 
the custom on the part of the disputants, would not 
have arisen.'^ Canada was but the wicket of a 
continent, the threshold of a vast untravelled 
solitude, and lay within the call of its mysterious 
voice. Nature herself forbade the attempt to establish 
there the relations of a feudal tenant to his lord. 
* Successive governors and intendants adverted to 
the great difficulty experienced in persuading the 
habitants to stay on their farms. The fascination 
of forest life appealed especially to the young men, 
who went off to the western wilderness by the score 
almost every year.' ^ The more glaring inconveniences 
were gradually modified, but the process of adjust- 
ment was incomparably slower than in the English 
colonies, where local assemblies were year by year 
at work transforming the laws in accordance with 
the experience they had gained. 

' The physiognomy of a government,' as Tocque- 
ville remarked, * may be best judged in its colonies, 
for there its features are magnified and rendered more 
conspicuous. When I wish to study the merits and 
faults of the administration of Louis XIV., I must go 
to Canada ; its deformity is there seen as through a 
microscope.'® Whether applied to the colonies of 
France or England this observation is equally just. 

1 Munro, The SH^wiorial System in Canada^ p. 10. 
» nnd, p. 46. 

* Tocqueville, The Old Hdgime and the lUvolution, p. 299, quoted by Munro, 
The Seigniorial System in Canada^ p. xiv. 


The centtalized system natural to the French auto- chap. 
crac j was repeated and emphasized in Canada. With 
no less fidelity the institutions of the commonwealth 
were reproduced, and in certain directions were 
developed by the customs which the colonists carried 
from England to their new homes. With them they 
brought their habit of obedience to law, spontaneous 
because the law was amenable to the collective will 
of those who obeyed it. Its burden they felt as that 
of a stafF carried in the hand rather than as gyves 
riveted on their feet. Cut and shaped by the experi- 
ence of their fathers to meet the needs that had been 
theirs, it was yet within the competence of themselves 
and their children to refashion it in accordance with 
their own experience to meet the changes of place and 
time. Law-making was work they understood, and 
what is more they knew the tools essential to the 
craft. From the outset each settlement developed 
an organ for gathering the experience of the little 
community and transforming it into law. Such a 
system was fatal to institutions which were the 
natural growth of European conditions and history, 
but unsuited to the climate of the New World. 
Projects for colonial aristocracies were mooted in 
England but never took root in the colonies them- 
selves. Under the Canada Act of 1791 such a pro- 
ject was actually passed into law ; but even in the 
one colony accustomed to distinctions of rank no 
attempt was made to enforce its provisions.^ Thp 
autonomy of the English colonies, moreover, pre- 
vented the wastage of their local resources, for the 
assemblies had absolute control of their internal 
revenues. An authority centralized in France, how- 
ever absolute, was powerless to check the peculations 
of local officials who silently devoured the public 

1 Egerton, A Short History of BrUiah Colonial Policy, p. 251. See also 
pp. 187 and 821. 



' III 

in French 
panied by 
tion ; in * 
panied by 

funds. Doubtless the revenues of the English colonies 
would have shared the same fate had they lain at the 
disposal of the Government in London where, for 
reasons given in the previous chapter, corruption was 
a recognized institution.^ But the jealous parsimony 
of the colonial assemblies, though carried to a point 
which often jeopardized the public safety, was an 
effective antidote to the poison which sapped the 
vitality of the French colony. It was not till the 
nineteenth century that corruption infected the public 
life of America. But the pest was of native growth, 
and England had then purged herself of it in the 
throes of her great struggle for existence with France. 
Thus, while France was founding one great 
dependency under a single organization, which 
enabled the French colonists to move and act as one 
concentrated force against their enemies, the enter- 
prise of the English adventurers, subjected to a 
minimum of state control, was scattering along the 
Atlantic a dozen communities, alike mainly in the 
liberty they enjoyed of differing from each other as 
well as from the country whose children they were. 
Then, as now, flags were portable, but how far the 
English or Continental system was to extend in 
America was to depend, not upon claims pegged by 
explorers, but on the ability of the competing 
societies to people them. In the earlier stages of the 
struggle what most determined the issue was the 
relative capacity of the different colonies to draw 
from Europe the best of its emigrants and the largest 
share of them, and here the number and the diversity 
of their settlements gave to the English their greatest 
advantage over Spain and France. To men with 
capital the tobacco plantations of Virginia or the 
Carolinas offered a highly remunerative investment. 
The yeoman or labourer could find his natural place 

1 See p. 106. 


in any of the Northern colonies. In one or other of ,chap. 
them an asylum was open to those whose need was v,^^,^,^,.,,^ 
liberty to worship after some fashion of their own. 
Spain and France closed their colonies to all who 
failed to conform to the religious and political 
pattern prescribed by the state. Those of England 
were open to the more independent inhabitants, not 
merely of the British Isles, but of all Europe. The 
volume of emigrants directed from France to Canada 
depended on the energy of its centralized government, 
but wherever a nucleus of civilization was established 
in the domain of the English Commonwealth, there 
population began to flow from a variety of sourcea of 
its own accord. Canada, however, by the prosperity 
it began to enjoy from the moment of its transfer, 
was to o£fer the best evidence that the English 
system rather than that of the Continent was suited 
for transplantation to new countries. Before the 
Seven Years' War was over, Haldimand, by descent 
a Huguenot, by birth a Swiss, who had taken service 
in the British army, reported to Amherst that there 
was nothing the Canadians dreaded so much as the 
return of French rule.^ Never, indeed, from the i76i. 
close of that war till the present have the Canadians 
evinced the slightest desire to revert to the sove- 
reignty of France. More significant still was their 
absolute refusal to join the forces sent from France 
to assist the English colonies in expelling Britain from 
America. The general result may be briefly stated in 
the words of Parkman : * At the middle of the century 
the English colonies numbered in all, from Greorgia to 
Maine, about 1,160,000 white inhabitants. By the 
census of 1754 Canada had but 55,000.^ Add those 
of Louisiana and Acadia, and the whole white popula- 

1 Egerton, A Short History of British Colonial Policy, p. 286. 

* Oenstues of Canada, iv. 61. Rameau {La France aiia Colonies, ii. 81) 
estiinates the Oanadian populatioD, in 1775, at 66,000, besides vayageurs, 
Indian traders, etc. Vaudreuil, in 1760, places it at 70,000. 




The con- 
clusion of 
the whole 

tion under the French flag might be something more 
than 80,000. Here is an enonnons disparity; and 
hence it has been argued that the success of the 
English colonies and the failure of the French was not 
due to difference of religious and political systems, but 
simply to numerical preponderance. But this pre- 
ponderance itself grew out of a difference of systems.' * 
It is a commonplace of history, yet abundantly 
true, that the English system prevailed by virtue of 
its freedom. That word is too often used of con- 
ditions that resemble freedom only as ferocity 
resembles courage, or lust love. Of all good things 
freedom is the most easily confounded with its 
correlative evil, and hence it is that so often men 
acting in the name of liberty, equality, and fraternity 
have achieved the negation of all three. The world 
gains by the freedom of men or societies only in so 
far as they themselves are liable to the consequences 
of what they were free to do or to leave undone, and 
are capable of reading, however slowly, the lesson 
of results. True freedom means that men, by reaping 
what they sow, shall learn with what seeds and how 
best to sow again and again. * Good and evil we 
know in the field of this world grow up together 
almost inseparably ; and the knowledge of good is so 
involved and interwoveii with the knowledge of evil, 
and in so many cunning resemblances hardly to be dis- 
cerned, that those confused seeds which were imposed 
on Psyche as an incessant labour to cull out, and 
sort asunder, were not more intermixed. It was 
from out the rind of one apple tasted, that the know- 
ledge of good and evil as two twins cleaving together 
leapt forth into the world. And perhaps this is 
that doom which Adam fell into of knowing good 
and evil, that is to say of knowing good by evil.' * 

* Parkman, Montcalm and Wolfe, vol. i. pp. 22-8. 
' Milton, Areopagitica, p. 45. 


Freedom is the principle by which nature is left, chap. 
as far as possible, to attach the appropriate 
penalties to error and crime and, by an automatic 
system of punishment, to enable men to distinguish 
the true from the false and the right from the wrong. 
The value of liberty lies in its discipline, in its power 
to confront men with facts and to teach them 
what are the tasks, always the same yet ever chang- 
ing, that they are called upon to face from time 
to time. It was this which freedom had done for 
Europe, and for England in an even higher degree. 
There, under the guidance of statesmen like Simon 
de Montfort and Edward I., a machinery of govern- 
ment had been devised whereby experience could 
be gathered from a country and a population larger 
than that of any previous commonwealth, from a 
nation instead of from a city, in such a manner 
that it could be formulated into law and so made the 
directing as well as the driving power of the state. 
For men educated to the system there was no great 
diflSiculty, as they spread to the continents oversea, 
in reproducing that machinery for similar areas. 
The colonists were thus able to control the immediate 
problems with which they themselves were faced, 
and, what is more, they became responsible for 
controlling them and so developed a sense of duty in 
respect of their own local affairs. Within certain 
limits they were left to make their own mistakes 
and to suffer by what they did, and so by hard 
experience to learn to distinguish good from evil. 
The domestic laws which they themselves made they 
were as ready to obey as the most law-abiding 
community in England itself. Hence, while the 
colonies of 8pain and France languished, those of 
England grew and prospered. But at the moment 
when the final seal was given by Edward I. to 
the principle of representation a new problem came 


CHAP, into being. By that principle he rendered the 
affairs of England amenable .to the control of the 
English people and at the same moment rendered the 
affairs of the English colonists in Ireland amenable 
to their own control Bnt as experience had already 
proved, and was to prove again and again, the in- 
habitants of England and Ireland had interests which 
could not be dealt with apart. And this was true of 
Scotland also, as Edward I. had reason to know, for 
he had caused the Scots to send representatives 
to the British parliament. There were interests 
common to the people of the British Isles which, if 
the principle of the Commonwealth were to be applied 
to them, must be rendered amenable to their in- 
habitants as a whole. For these interests (and they 
included those of national life and death) no pro- 
vision was made. By the opening of the seas and 
the consequent establishment of English colonies 
in America this defect in the structure of the 
Commonwealth was greatly increased. In the long 
struggle with Europe which ensued the existence of 
the Commonwealth in Britain, Ireland, and America 
was equally at stake. The task of self-preservation 
was the task of all. At the same time and owing to 
the same cause destiny was placing on the shoulders 
of this Commonwealth an overwhelming share of 
the duty imposed on Europe — that of controlling 
its relations with races more backward than its 
own. But how were the citizens of the Common- 
wealth in Scotland, Ireland, and the American 
colonies to be brought to recognize tasks as much 
more hard to discern as they were more vital tiian 
those involved in their local affairs ? Some plan as 
pregnant with future results as that conceived by 
de Montfort and Edward I., some act not less 
creative than the institution of Parliament itself, was 
needed if the principles of the commonwealth were to 



be realized to meet the far-reaching changes wrought OHiiP. 
by the work of Henry the Navigator. Were statesmen ^-^v-w 
again to be found with the eye to see and the hand 
to shape ? The destiny of the Commonwealth hung 
and yet hangs on the question. ' He that keepeth the 
law, happy is he/ But to make the law there must 
first be vision, and in the same place it is written 
that ' Where there is no vision, the people perish.' ^ 

Such were the issues raised by the opening of Absence of 
the seas, but before closing that part of the narrative fr^the 
which deals with this epoch it is well to remark the X^^ 
absence from this chapter of a name which fignired arose from 
conspicuously in the previous two. Portugal, Spain, ing ofthe 
France and Holland all took part in the struggle 
with England, which lasted for three centuries, 'and 
was to decide how far the other continents were to 
be brought under the influence of their respective 
systems; but amongst the rivals in this titanic 
contest was not included that power which is now 
the greatest in Western Europe. Still raking in 
the ruins of the Empire they had overthrown the 
Grermans had as yet no eyes for the crown of state- 
hood, and the name at which Rome trembled and 
fell had ceased to be more than a geographical ex- 
pression. Not till the close of the nineteenth 
century was their belated union to restore to the 
Grerman people the position in Europe due to their 
vigour and their virtue. But the world beyond it had 
limits, and those limits had been reached. It was 
then too late for them to secure an adequate place 
in the regions opened by Henry the Navigator, with- 
out convulsing the framework of human society. 
Those who think to interpret the present without 
pausing to interrogate the past will do well to reflect 
on these facts, for the situation which the World is 
now facing hinges upon them. 

^ Proverbs xxix. 18. 



^^^ NOTE A 


See page * In the meanwhile, in deference, to a great extent, tx> British 

155. public opinion, a certain development of free inBtijUitions wtua 

pressed. But Lord Dufferin appears to have had little con- 
fidence that he would succeed in "creating a vitalised and 
self -existent organism, instinct with evolutionary force." "A 
paper constitution," he said, "is proverbially an unsatisfactory 
device. Few institutions have succeeded that have not been 
the outcome of slow growth, and gradual development ; but in 
the Elast, even the germs of constitutional freedom are non- 
existent. Despotism not only destroys the seeds of liberty, but 
renders the soil, on which it has trampled, incapable of growing 
the plant A long-enslaved nation instinctively craves for the 
strong hand of a master, rather than for a lax constitutional 
regime. A mild ruler is more likely to provoke contempt and 
insubordination than to inspire gratitude." 

' It was, without doubt, desirable to make some beginning in 
the way of founding liberal institutions, but no one with any 
knowledge of the £ast could for one moment suppose diat the 
Legislative Council and Assembly, founded under Lord Dufferin's 
auspices, could at once become either important factors in the 
government of the country, or efiicient instruments to help in 
administrative and fiscal reform. 

* Where Order deigns to come, 
Her aifiter, libeity, cannot be far.^ 

*What Egypt most of all. required was order and good 
government. Perhaps, lofngo ijUervaUoj liberty would follow 
afterwards. No one but a dreamy theorist could imagine that 
the natural order of things could be reversed, and that liberty 
could first be accorded to the poor ignorant representatives of 
the Egyptian people, and that the latter would thefn be aUe to 
See page evolve order out of chaos. In the early days of the struggles 
^^^- which eventually led to Italian unity, Manzoni said that " his 

country must be morally healed before she could be politically 
regenerated." * The remark applied in a far greater degree to 
Egypt in 1882 than it did to Italy in 1827. Lord Du&rin was 
certainly under no delusion as to the realities of the situation. 
In the concluding portion of his report, he said that one of the 
main points to consider was " how far we can depend upon the 

* Akenside, Pleasures of the ImagiTiatian. 

' Bolton King, History of Italian Unity , voL i. p. 112. 


eontinued, steady, and frictionlefis operation of the machinery CHAE. 
we ahall have set up. A great part of what we are about to HI 
inaugurate will be of necessity tentative and experimental . . . '^^-^'^n^^---^ 
Before a guarantee of Egypt's independence can be said to exist, 
the administrative system of which it is the leading characteristic 
must have lime to consolidate, in order to resist disintegrating 
influences from within and without, and to acquire the use and 
knowledge of its own capacities. . . . With such an accumulation See page 
of difficulties, native statesmanship, even though supplemented ^^^' 
by the new-born institutions, will hardly be able to cope, unless 
assisted for a time by our sympathy and guidance. Under these 
circumstances, I would ventui'e to submit that we can hardly 
consider the work of reorganisation complete, or the responsi- 
bilities imposed upon us by circumstances adequately discharged, 
until we have seen Egypt shake herself free from the initial 
embarrassments which I have 'enumerated above." In other 
words, Lord Dufferin, without absolutely stating that the British 
occupation must be indefinitely prolonged, clearly indicated the 
nuiintenance of the paramount influence of the British Govern- 
ment for an indefinite period as an essential condition to the 
execution of the policy of reform.' ^ 




The following extracts from the life of John, Paiony a See {lage 
missionary < in the New Hebrides, afford some glimpses of the ^^^* 
conditions which come into existence where no European state 
has made itself responsible for controlling the relations of 
primitive people with European traders : — 

'We found the Tannese to be painted Savages, enveloped 
in aU the superstition and wickedness of Heathenism. All the 
men and children go in a state of nudity. The older women 
wear grass skirts, and the young women and girls, grass or leaf 
aprons like Eve in Eden. They are exceedingly ignorant, ' 
vicious, and bigoted, and almost void of natural affection. 
Instead of the inhabitants of Port Resolution being impi*oved 
by coming in contact with white men, they are rendered much 
worse ; for they have learned all their vices, but none of their 
virtues, — if such are possessed by the pioneer traders among 
such races ! The Sandalwood Traders are as a class the most 
godless of men, whose cruelty and wickedness make us ashamed 
to own them as our countrymen. By them the poor, defenceless 

^ Cromer, MoAem Egypt, pp. 266-7. 



CHAP. Natives are oppressed and robbed on every hand ; and if they 
ni offer the slightest resistance, they are ruthlessly silenced by 
^—""v-^*-^ the musket or revolver. Few months here pass without some 
of them being so shot, and, instead of their murderers feeling 
ashamed, they boast of how they despatch them. Such treatment 
keeps the Natives always burning under a desire for revenge, 
so that it is a wonder any white man is allowed to come among 
them. Indeed, all Traders here are able to maintain their 
position only by revolvers and rifles ; but we hope a better 
state of affairs is at hand for Tanna. . . . 
See pages ' Thousands upon thousands of money were made in the 

161 and sandalwood trade yearly, so long as it lasted ; but it was a trade 
steeped in human blood and indescribable vice, nor could God's 
blessing rest on the Traders and their ill-gotten gains. . . . 
Sandalwood Traders murdered many of the Islanders when 
robbing them of their wood, and the Islanders murdered many 
of them and their servants in revenge. White men, engaged in 
the trade, also shot dead and murdered each other in vicious and 
drunken quarrels, and not a few put end to their own lives. 
I have scarcely known one of them who did not come to ruin 
and poverty ; the money that came even to the shipowners was 
a conspicuous curse. . . . 

' One morning, three or four vessels entered our Harbour and 
cast anchor in Port Resolution. The Captains called on me; 
and one of them, with manifest delight, exclaimed, " We know 
how to bring down your proud Tannese now ! We41 humble 
them before you ! " 

' I answered, " Surely you don't mean to attack and destroy 
these poor people ? " 

* He replied, not abashed but rejoicing, " We have sent the 
measles to humble them ! That kills them by the score ! 
Four young men have been landed at different ports, ill with 
measles, and these will soon thin their ranks." 

* Shocked above measure, I protested solemnly and denounced 
their conduct and spirit; but my remonstrances only called 
forth the shameless declaration, "Our watchword is, — Sweep 
these creatures away and let white men occupy the soil ! " 

* Their malice was further illustrated thus: they induced 
Kapuka, a young Chief, to go off to one of their vessels, 
promising him a present. He was the friend and chief supporter 
of Mr. Mathieson and of his work. Having got him on board, 
they confined him in the hold amongst Natives lying ill with 
measles. They gave him no food for about four-and-twenty 
hours ; and then, without the promised present, they put him 
ashore far from his own home. Though weak and excited, 
he scrambled back to his Tribe in great exhaustion and terror. 
He informed the Missionary that they had put him down 
amongst sick people, red and hot with fever, and that he feared 


their sickness was apon him. I am ashamed to say that these qhaP. 
Sandalwood and other Traders were our own degraded country- III 
men ; and that they deliberately gloried in thus destroying the 
poor Heathen. A more fiendish spirit could scarcely be imagined ; 
but most of them were horrible drunkards, and their traffic of 
erery kind amongst these Islands was, generally speaking, 
steeped in hUBian blood. 

* The measles, thus introduced, became amongst our Islanders 
the most deadly plague. It spread fearfully, and was accom- 
panied by sore throat and diarrhoea. In some villages, man, 
woman, and child were stricken, and none could give food or water 
to the rest. The misery, suffering, and terror were unexampled, 
the living being afraid sometimes even to bury the dead. . . . 

* The sale of Intoxicants, Opium, Fire-arms and Ammunition, 
by the Traders amongst the NewHebrideans, had become a terrible 
and intolerable evil. The lives of many Natives, and of not a 
few Europeans, were every year sacrificed in connection there- 
with, while the general demoralization produced on all around 
was painfully notorious. Alike in the Oolonial and in the Home 
Newspapers, we exposed and condemned the fearful consequences 
of allowing such degrading and destructive agencies to be used 
as barter in dealing with diese Islanders. It is infinitely sad to 
see the European and American Trader following fast in the wake 
of the Missionary with opium and rum ! But, blessed be Qod, 
our Christian Natives have thus far, with very few exceptions, 
been able to keep away from the White Man's Fire- Water, that 
maddens and destroys. And not lesr cruel is it to scatter fire-arms 
and ammunition amongst Savages, who are at the same time to 
be primed with poisonous rum ! This were surely Demons' work. 

' To her honour, be it said, that Great Britain prohibited all 
her own Traders, under heavy penalties, from bartering those 
dangerous and destructive articles in trade with the Natives. 
She also appealed to the other trading Nations, in Europe and 
America, to combine and make the prohibition '^ International," 
with regard to all the still unannexed Islands in the Pacific 
Seas. At first America hesitated, owing to some notion that it 
was inconsistent with certain regulations for trading embraced 
in the Constitution of the United States. Then France, 
tempcnrising, professed willingness to accept the prohibition when 
America agreed. Thus the British Trader, with the Man-of-War 
and the High Commissioner ready to enforce the laws against 
him, found hhnself placed at an overwhelming disadvantage, 
as against the neighbouring Traders of every other Nationality, 
free to barter as they pleased. More especially so, when the 
things prohibited were the very articles which the masses of 
the Heathen chiefly coveted in exchange for their produce ; and 
where keen rivals in business were ever watdbful to inform and 
to report against him. If illicit Trading prevailed, under such 



CHAP, conditions, no one that knows average Human Nature can feel 
HI any surprise. 
'^— "v^-^ * By-and-bye, the Australian New Hebrides Company^ with two 
Steamers plying betwixt Sydney and the New Hebrides, took 
up the problem. Having planted Traders and Agents on the 
Islands, they found themselves handicapped in developing 
business, and began a brisk agitation in the Australasian and 
English Press, eiUier to have the Prohibition applied all round, 
or completely rescinded. We have never accepted that alter- 
native, but resolutely plead for an International Prohibitive law, 
as the only means under Ood to prevent the speedy sweeping 
off into Eternity of these most interesting Races by the tide of 
what is strangely styled Civilization. 

* At length Sir John Thurston, Her Majesty's High Commis- 
sioner for the Western Pacific, whose sympathies aU through 
have been on our side, advised that the controversy in the 
Newspapers cease, and that our Missions and Churches send a 
deputation to America to win the assent of the United States. 
Consequently, the next Federal Assembly of the Australasian 
Presbyterian Churches instructed two of its Professors in the 
Divinity Hall of Victoria, who were then visiting Britain, to 
return by America, and do everything in their powen to secure 
the adhesion of the United States Government to the Inter- 
national proposal Lest^ however, these Deputies found them- 
selves unable to carry out their instructions, the same Assembly 
appointed me as Deputy, with identical instruotibns, to under- 
take the task during the suooeeding yestf. . . . 

* We reached Honolulu, the Etawaiian Capital, on the 25th, 
and spent nearly a whole day on shore. . . . The Queen had 
been deposed or deprived of power. National interests were 

See pa^ sacrificed in self-seeking and partisanship^ One could not but 

162. ^^^^ ^^^ some strong and righteous Government They are a 

people capable of great things. Everything seems to invite 

America to annex the group ; and it would be for the permanent 

welfare of all concerned.' ^ 

These words were written by John Paton in 1892, but the 
control of the New Hebrides is still shared by ikigland and 
France, with the consequences which usually attend a divided 
responsibility. The complaints that the prohibition againat the 
sale of fire-arms and intoxicants are only enforced by one nation 
continue. The condition of the islands is one of anarchy which 
would at once become a danger to the peace of the world if a 
re-grouping of European powers should again remove the present 
necessity which is laid on Britain and France to preserving at 
all costs a united front. The Hawaiian Group annexed by the 

^ John Q. PaUm, Missionary to ihe New Hebrides, pp. 86, 87, 180, 150, 151, 
448, 449, 450, 451. 


United States shortly after Paton's visit now afford an instructive CHAP. 
contrast to the conditions which still prevail under dual control III 
in the New Hebrides. v.-ii-v-i*^ 



Mr. E. G. Bourne defends the methods of Spanish coloniza- See page 
tion with much learning in the volume entitled Spain inAmericay ^^^' 
of the series edited by Professor Hart under the title of The 
American Nation, A History, By a minute examination of the 
colonial laws enacted in Spain^ Mr. Bourne proves the excellent 
intentions of the Spanish Court. His book contains, however 
but little evidence to show how far these good intentions were 
translated (or were indeed capable of translation) into the 
results they were intended to produce in the American colonies, 
thousands of miles from Madrid. He writes almost as though 
he were an admirer of the system under which the Spanish 
Court endeavoured to regulate the domestic affairs of the colonies 
through a strong council located in Spain.^ When, moreover, 
he argues that the Spanish Empire was comparable rather to 
the Indian than to the colonial Empire of England, he fails to 
realize the ruin which would have overtaken India if the English 
Government had endeavoured to regulate in London details 
similar to those which in America the Spanish Government 
attempted to control from Madrid. To any one with experience 
of colonial administration the facts collected in this book are 
sufficient to explain the comparative failure of Spanish colonial 
methods as judged by their results at the present day. Mr. 
Bourne shows little perception of the truth conveyed by the 
remark made in New Zealand by Godley, who was afterwards to 
become the head of a department in Whitehall, ' I would rather 
be governed by Nero on the spot^ than by a board of archangels 
in London.' 



' " Empire " forsooth ; there is something strange, nay some- See page 
thing ominous, in the way in which that word and its even more ^^^* 
threatening adjective seem ready to spring to every lip at every 
moment. The word sounds grand and vague; grand, it may 

^ See pp. 229-30. 


CHAP. ^^> beoause of its vagueness. To those who striTe that every 
III word they utter shall have a meaning; it oslls up mighty and 

''-'^0's/-'^^ thrilling memories of a state of things which has passed away 
for ever. Its associations are far from being wholly evil. It 
calls up indeed pictures of the whole civilized world bowing 
down to one master at one centre. But it caUs up thoughts of 
princes who bound the nations together by the tie of a just and 
equal law; it calls up thoughts of princes who gathered the 
nations round them to do the work of their day in that Eternal 
Question which needs no reopening because 'no diplomacy has ever 
closed it, the question between light and darkness, between West and 
East. But the thought of Empire is in all shapes the thought, 
not of brotherhood but of subjection ; the word implies a master 
who commands and subjects who obey ; '' Imperium et Libertas * 
are names either of which forbids the presence of the other. 
The thought of ^Empire/' alike in its noblest and its basest 
forms, may call up thoughts of nations severed in blood and 
speech, brought together, for good or evil, at the bidding of a 
common master ; it cannot call up the higher thought of men of 
the same nation, scattered over distant lands, brought together, 
not at the bidding of a master, but at the call of brotherhood, 
as members of a household still one however scattered. In the 
gatherings of the Hellenic folk around the altars of the gods of 
Hellas the thought of Empire was unknown. . . . 

See page ' That this now familiar name of '* Empire '' expresses a fact, 

^^^' and a mighty fact, none can doubt. The only doubt that can be 

raised is whether the fact of Empire is a wholesome one, whether it is 
exactly the side of the position of our island in the world which we 
sh^mld specially pick out as the thing whereof to boast ourselves. 

See pages Empire is dominion ; it implies subjects ; the name may even 

205 an^ g^ggest unwiUing subjects. . . . 

^ The fact of Empire then cannot be denied. The burthens 
of Empire, the responsibilities of Empire, cannot be denied. 
They are burthens and responsibilities which we have taken on 
ourselves, and which it is far easier to take on ourselves than to 
get rid of. Hie only guesHon is whether ^is our Imperial position 
is one on which we need at all pride ourselves^ one about which it is 

Seepage wise to be ever blowing our trumpet and calling on all the 

^^^- nations of the world to come and admire us. Is there not a more 

excellent way, a wa/y which, even if it is too late to follow it, we may 
at least mourn thai we ham not foUewedf Is it wholly hopeless, 
with this strange, yet true, cry of " Empire " daily dinned into 
our ears, to rise to the thoughts of the old Greek and the old 
Phoenician, the thought of an union of scattered kinsfolk bound 
together by a nobler tie than that of being subjects of one Empire 
or "peoples" of one sovereign ? Will not the memories of this day ^ 

' The birthday of Washington. The singular infelicity of this panegyric 
will be seen by reference to pp. 594 and 615. 


lift 118 above this confused babble about a British Empire cHAP. 
patched up out of men of everj race and speech under the sun, lit 
to the higher thought of the brotherhood of the English folk, '--••v^-*-^ 
the one English folk in all its homes t Surely the bnrthen 
of barbaric Empire is at most something that we maj school 
ourselyes to endure ; the tie of English brotherhood is something 
that we may rejoice to striTe after. Cannot our old Hellenic See page 
memories teach us that that brotherhood need be none the less ^^^* 
near, n<me the less endearing, between coBftmunities whose 
political connexioii has been severed — alas, we may cry, that 
ever needed severing 1 ' ^ 

The generalizati<m that ^ " Imperium et Libertas " are names 
either of which forbids the presence of the other ' comes strangely 
from a historian who has done so much to explain the early 
growth of the English C(»nmonweaIth. As Freeman himsetf 
remariced in a passage quoted on page 9^ of this enquiry 'no 
one aet in English history is more important than ' that of 
William the Conqueror in exacting the claim of the central 
government todireet obedience from every inhabitant of England. 
The reason why the liberty implicit in Tentonic custom perished 
in Germany, was due to the fact that the German Emperors 
&iiled to establish a genuine 'Imperium.' The student need 
go no further than IVeeman's own writings to learn that the 
growth of thtt English Commonwealth was only made possible 
because kings like the first William and Edward, unlike the 
Qerman Emperors, had first made the sovereignty of the state 
a fack The tmth 

Where Ord«r deigns to come 
Her sister, Liberty, cannot be far 

is written broadcast over his own pages. The condemnation of 
Empire on the ground that it implies ' dominion ' and ' subjects ' 
and ' may even suggest unwilling subjects ' ignores the obvious 
fact that a commonwealth no less than any other kind of state 
assumes the right to the unlimited obedience of its citizens. Its 
laws, once promulgated, are presumed to be just as binding as 
the rescripts of an autocracy. In the matter of obedience the 
citizens of a commonwealth are no less subjects than those of 
an autocracy, despite the fact that in the formulation of the 
laws they may occupy a different position. The conception of 
d(miiniork, of irnperivm, of sovereignty is no less vital to a common- 
wealth than to any other class of state. No commonwealth 
ever eodstad which did not contain unwilling subjects, nor will 
such a commonweahh ever exist till human nature is perfect. 
The existence of a criminal law in every commonwealth is incon- 
trovertible proof that they all contain unwilling subjects. The 

* Freeman, Cheater Greece and CfneUer Britain^ pp. 76, 77, 78, 79, 83, 84, 
The italics are not the author's. 


CHAP, necessity of compulsory education is a sufficient proof that the 
ni most enlightened commonwealths cannot depend upon all their 
**— '^v^"^^ citizens, even those which exercise the franchise, willingly and 
continuously to respond without compulsion to the duties laid 
upon them by the state in the interests of their own children^ 
No one knew better than Freeman, when not carried away by 
his own eloquence or prejudice, that no state, however republican, 
can ever exist as a voluntary association. 

Another curious feature in the passage above quoted ;s the 
frank recognition of the overmastering importance of the problem 
arising from contact between different levels of civilization, 
'that Eternal Question which needs no reopening because no 
diplomacy has ever closed it.' He speaks with seeming admira- 
tion 'of princes who bind the nations together by the tie of a 
just and equal law/ Did he really mean that this supreme 
function was one which should be left to autocrats for fear that 
commonwealths should injure their own character by touching 
It f To turn from the abstract to the concrete, what did he 
think should be done with India) Did he honestly believe 
that its population were capable of governing themselves, and 
if not, would he really have been in favour of leaving them to 
anarchy or of transferring them from the British to the Russian 
Empire 1 The whole passage suggests that his views on imperial 
policy were the result of preconceived ideas which had never 
been tested by reference to the facts to which they were applied. 
His natural dislike of the word 'Empire' prevented him from 
grasping the fact that the dependencies are incori)orated in the 
Commonwealth, and are not something which stands outside it. 
They and Britain are from every point of view one international 
state, and that a state organized on the principle of the common- 



Eidradfrom Argument on behalf of Governor Mostyn A.D. 1773. 

Seepage 'Of all the Minorquins in that island perhaps the plaintiff 

169. stands singularly and most eminently the most seditious, 

turbulent, and dissatisfied subject to the crown of Great Britain 
that is to be found in the island of Minorca. Gentlemen, he is, 
or chooses to be, called the patriot of Minorca. Now, patriotism 
is a very pretty thing among ourselves, and we owe much to it ; 

TW& ovwsma of the htoh sms 231 

we owe our liberties to it; but we should have but little to CHAP, 
value, and perhaps we should have bat little of the liberty we HI 
now enjoy, were it not for our trade. And for the sake of our ^^^"^^^-^-^y 
trade it is not fit we should encourage patriotism in Minorca ; 
for it is there destructive of our trade, and there is an end to 
our trade in the Mediterranean if it goes there. But here it is 
very well ; for the body of the people of this country they will 
have it : they have demanded it ; and in consequence of their 
demands they have enjoyed liberty which they will continue to 
posterity, — ^and it is not in the power of this government to 
deprive them of it. But they will tc^e care of all our conquests 
abroad. If that spirit prevailed in Minorca, the consequence 
of it would be the loss of that country, and of course our 
Mediterranean trade. We should be sorry to set all our slaves See page 
free in our plantations.' * 1^^« 

Argument of Athenian Envoys wUh Mdiaai Commissmwrs KC. 416. 

<The Athenians also made an expedition against the isle of 
Melos with thirty ships of their own, six Chian, and two Lesbian 
vessels, sixteen hundred heavy infantry, three hundred archers, 
and twenty mounted archers from Athens, and about fifteen 
hundred heavy infantry from the allies and the islanders. The 
Melians are a colony of Lacedaemon that would .not submit to 
the Athenians like the other islanders, and at first remained 
neutral and took no part in the struggle, but afterwards upon 
the Athenians using violence and plundering their territory, 
assumed an attitude of open hostility. Cleomedes, son of 
Lycomedes, and Tisias, son of Tisimachus, the generals, en- 
camping in their territory with the above armament, before 
doing any harm to their land, sent envoys to negotiate. These 
the Melians did not bring before the people, but bade them state 
the object of their mission to the magistrates and the few ; upon 
which the Athenian envoys spoke as follows : — 

' Athenians, — " Since the negotiations are not to go on before Procedure 
the people, in order that we may not be able to speak straight on ^ ^ 
without interruption, and deceive the cans of the multitude by ^ ^^® * 
seductive arguments which would pass without refutation (for we 
know that this is the meaning of our being brought before the 
few), what if you who sit there were to pursue a method more 
cautious still ! Make no set speech yourselves, bv^t take us up 
at whatever you do not like, and settle that before going any 
farther. And first tell us if this proposition of ours suits you." 

' The Melian commissioners answered : — 

' Melians. — " To the fairness of quietly instructing each other 
as you {MTopose there is nothing to object; but your military 

* Howell, 8t€ae Triahf vol. xx. p. 106. 




of the 

preparatioiis are too far advanced to agree with what you aay, as 
we see you are come to be judges in your own cause, and thai 
all we can reavonaUy expect from this negotiation is war, if we 
prove to hare ri^t on our side and refuse to submit^ and in the 
contrary case, skrery/' 

* A^umans. — " If you have met to reason about presentiments 
of the future, or for anything else than to consult for the safety 
of your state upon the facts that you see before you, we will 
give over; otherwise we will go on.*' 

'MdioMS. — *' It is natural and excusable for men in our position 
to turn more ways than one both in thought and utterance. 
However, the question in this conference is, as you say, the 
safety of our country; and the discussion, if you please, can 
(HTOoeed in the way which you propose." 

' Athenians. — " For ourselves, we shall not trouble you with 
specious pretences — either of how we have a right to our empire 
because we overthrew the Mede, or are now attacking you 
because of wrong that you have done us — and make a long 
speech which would not be believed ; and in return wo hope 
that you, instead of thinking to influence us by saying that you 
did not join the Lacedaemonians, although their colonists, or 
that you have done us no wrong, will aim at what is feasible, 
holding in view the real sentiments of us both ; since you know 

as well as we do that right, as the world goes, is only in question 

between equals in power, while the strong do what they can 

and the weak suffer what they must.*' 

* AWtaTW.-— " As we think, at any rate, it is expedient — we 
speak as we are obliged, since you enjoin us to let right alone 
and talk only of interest — that you should not destroy what is 
our common protection, the privilege of being allowed in danger 
to invoke what is fair and right, and even to profit by arguments 
not strictly valid if they can be got to pass current And 
you are as much interested in this as aay, as your fall would 
be a signal for the heaviest vengeance and an example for the 
world to meditate upon." 

' Athenians. — " The end of our empire, if end^it should, does 
not frighten us: a rival empire like Lacedaemon, even if 
Lacedaemon was our real antagonist^ is not so terrible to the 
vanquished as subjects who by themselves attack and overpower 
their rulers. This, however, is a risk that we are content to take. 
We will now proceed to show you that we are come here in the 
interest of our empire^ and that we shall say what we are now 
going to say, for the preservation of your country ; as we would 
fain exercise that empire over yoa without trouble, and see you 
preserved for the good of us both." 

' Melians, — *" And how, pray, could it turn out as good for us 
to serve as for you to rule 1 " 


* Athemms. — "Because you would have the advantage of ohap. 
submitting before suffering the worsts and we should gain by m 
not destroying you." s-^-n/--*^ 

^Mdians. — "So that you would not consent to our being 
neutral, friends instead of enemies, but allies of neither side." 

^Athemam. — "No ; for your hostility cannot so much hurt us Attitude 
as your friendship will be an argument to our subjects of our ^ ^ ^"^ 
weakness, and your enmity of our power." neutrals. 

' MeUam» — " Is that your subjects' idea of equity, to put those 
who have nothing to do with you in the same category with 
peoples that are most of them your own colonists, and some 
conquered rebels ? " 

^Athenians, — "As far as right goes they think one has as 
much of it as the other, and that if any maintain their 
independence it is because they are strong, and that if we do 
not molest them it is because we are afraid ; so that besides 
extending our empire we should gain in security by your 
subjection ; the fact that you are islanders and weaker than 
others rendering it all the more important that you should not 
succeed in baffling the masters of the sea." 

*MeUans, — " But do you consider that there is no security in 
the policy which we indicate 1 For here again if you debar us 
from talking about justice and invite us to obey your interest^ 
we also must explain ours, and try to persuade you, if the two 
happen to coincide. How can you avoid making enemies of all 
existing neutrals who shall look at our case and conclude from 
it that one day or another you will attack them ? And what 
is this but to make greater iht enemies that you have already, 
and to force others to become so who would otherwise have 
never thought of it 9 " 

' Athenians. — " Why, the fact is that continentals generally give Hope 
us but little alarm; the liberty which they enjoy will long ^^^^^^^^ 
prevent their taking precautions against us ; it is rather islanders 
like yourselves, outside our empire, and subjects smarting under 
the yoke, who would be the most likely to take a rash step and 
lead themselves and us into obvious danger." 

^Melians, — "Well then, if you risk so much to retain your 
empire, and your subjects to get rid of it, it were surely great 
baseness and cowardice in us who are still free not to try every- 
thing that can be tried, before submitting to your yoke." 

' AthemoM.-^^" Not if you are well advised, the contest not 
being an equal one, with honour as the prize and shame as the 
penalty, but a question of self-preservation and of not resisting 
those who are far stronger than you are." 

' MelicMS. — " But we know that the fortune of war is sometimes 
more impartial than the disfHroportion of numbers might lead one 
to suppose ; to submit is to give ourselves over to despair, while 
action still preserves for us a hope that we may stand erect." 




The godfl 
favour the 



of help 




' Atheniang, — " Hope, danger's comforter, may be indulged in 
by those who have abundant resources, if not without loss at 
all events without ruin ; but its nature is to be extravagant, 
and those who go so far as to put their all upon the venture see 
it in its true colours only when they are ruined ; but so long 
as the discovery would enable them to guard against it^ it is 
never found wanting. Let not this be the case with yon, who 
are weak and hang on a single turn of the scale ; nor be like 
the vulgar, who, abandoning such security as human means may 
still afford, when visible hopes fail them in extremity, turn to 
invisible, to prophecies and oracles, and other such inventions 
that delude men with hopes to their destruction." 

' Mdians, — ** You may be sure that we are as well aware as you 
of the difficulty of contending against your power and fortune, 
unless the terms be equal. But we trust that the gods may 
grant us fortune as good as yours, since we are just men 
fighting against unjus^ and that what we want in power will be 
made up by the alliance of the Lacedaemonians, who are bound, 
if only for very shame, to come to the aid of their kindred. 
Our confidence, therefore, after all is not so utterly irrational." 

* Athenians. — " When you speak erf the favour of the gods, we 
may as fairly hope for that as yourselves; neither our pre- 
tensions nor our conduct being in any way contrary to what 
men believe of the gods, or practise among themselves. Of the 
gods we believe, and of men we know, that by a necessary law 
of their nature they rule wherever they can. And it is not as 
if we were the first to make this law, or to act upon it when 
made : we found it existing before us, and shall leave it to 
exist for ever after us ; all we do is to make use of it, knowing 
that you and everybody else, having the same power as we have, 
would do the same as we do. Thus, as far as the gods are 
concerned, we have no fear and no reason to fear that we shall 
be at a disadvantage. But when we come to your notion 
about the Lacedaemonians, which leads you to believe that 
shame will make them help you, here we bless your simplicity 
but do not envy your folly. The Lacedaemonians, when their 
own interests or their country's laws are in question, are the 
worthiest men alive; of their conduct towards others much 
might be said, but no clearer idea of it could be given than by 
shortly saying that of all the men we know they are most 
conspicuous in considering what is agreeable honourable, and 
what is expedient just. Such a way of thinking does not 
promise much for the safety which you now unreasonably count 

* Mdians, — " But it is for this very reason that we now trust 
to their respect for expediency to prevent them from betraying 
the Melians, their colonists, said thereby losing the confidence of 
their friends in Hellas and helping their enemies." 



^Athenians. — "Then yoa do not adopt the view that ex- CHAP, 
pediency goes with security, while justice and honour cannot be III 
followed without danger; and danger the Lacedaemonians ^<-^-v^^<*^ 
generally eourt as little as possible.'' 

* Mdkms. — "But we believe that they would be more likely to 
fiice even danger for our sake, and with more confidence than 
for others, as our nearness to Peloponnese makes it easier for 
them to act, and our common blood insures our fidelity." 

* Athenians. — " Yes, but what an intending ally trusts to, is 
not the goodwill of those who ask his aid, but a decided superi- 
ority of power for action ; and the Lacedaemonians look to this even 
more than others. At least, such is their distrust of their home 
resources that it is only with numerous allies that they attack a 
neighbour ; now is it likely that while we are masters of the 
sea they will cross over to an island f " 

^Melians. — "But they would have others to send The 
Cretan sea is a wide cme, and it is more difficult for those who 
command it to intercept others, than for those who wish to elude 
them to do so safely. And should the Lacedaemonians mis- 
carry in this, they would fall upon your land, and upon those 
left of your allies whom Brasidas did not reach ; and instead of 
places which are not yours, you will have to fight for your own 
country and your own confederacy." 

' Atheniafis, — " Some diversion of the kind you speak of you 
may one day experience, only to learn, as others have done, that 
the Athenians never once yet withdrew from a siege for fear of 
any. But we are struck by the fact^ that after 8a3dng you 
would consult for the safety of your country, in all this dis- 
cussion you have mentioned nothing which men might trust in 
and think to be saved by. Your strongest arguments depend 
upon hope and the future, and your actual resources are too 
scanty, as compared with those arrayed against you, for you to 
come out victorious. You will therefore show great blindness 
of judgment, unless, after allowing us to retire, you can find 
some counsel more prudent than this. You will surely not be« Sub- 
caught by that idea of disgrace, which in dangers that are mission to 
disgraceful, and at the same time too plain to be mistaken, yoiy^VcT 
proves so fatal to mankind ; since in too many cases the very dishonour. 
men that have their eyes perfectly open to what they, are 
rushing into, let the thing called disgrace, by the mere influence 
of a seductive name, l^d them on to a point at which they 
become so enslaved by the phrase as in fact to fall wilfully into 
hopeless disaster, and incur disgrace more disgraceful as the 
companion of error, than when it comes as the result of 
misfortune. This, if you are well advised, you will guard 
against ; and you will not think it dishonourable to submit to 
the greatest city in Hellas, when it makes you the moderate 
offer of becoming its tributary ally, without ceasing to enjoy the 




of Melians 
to submit. 


country that belongs to you; nor when you have the choice 
given you between war and security, will you be so blinded as 
to choose the worse. And it is certain that those who do not 
yield to their equals, who keep terms with their superiors, and 
are moderate towards tiieir inferiors, on the whole succeed best. 
Think over the matter, therefore, after our withdrawal, and 
reflect once and again that it is for your country that you are 
consulting, that you have not more than one, and that upon this 
one deliberation depends its prosperity or ruin." 

' The Athenians now withdrew from the conference ; and the 
Melians, left to themselves, came to a decision corresponding 
with what they had maintained in the discussion, and answered, 
" Our resolution, Athenians, is the ssme as it was at first We 
will not in a moment deprive of freed<»n a city that has been 
inhabited these seven hundred years ; but we put our trust in 
the fortune by which the gods have preserved it until now, and 
in the help of men, that is, of the Lacedaemonians ; and so we 
will try and save ourselves. Meanwhile we invite you to allow 
us to be friends to you and foes to neither party, and to retire 
from our country after making such a treaty as shall seem, fit to 
us both." 

' Such was the answer of the Melians. The Athenians now 
departing from the conference said, ^ Well, you alone, as it seems 
to us, jigging from these resolutions, regajrd what is future as 
more certain than what is before your eyes, and what is out of 
sight, in your eagerness^ as already coming to pass ; and as you 
have staked most on, and trusted most in, the Laeedaenonians, 
your fortune, and your hopes, so will you be most completely 

* The Athenian envoys now returned to the army ; and the 
Melians showing no signs of yielding, the generals at once 
betook themselves to hostilities, and drew a line of circum- 
vallation round the Melians, dividing the work among the 
different states. Subsequently the Athenians returned with 
most of their army, leaving behind them a certain number of 
their own citizens and of the allies to keep guard by land and 
sea. The force thus left stayed on and besieged the place. 

' . • . Meanwhile the Melians attacked by night and took the 
part of the Athenian lines over against the market, and killed some 
of the men, and brought in corn and all else that they could 
find useful to them, and so returned and kept quiet, while the 
Athenians took measures to keep better guard in future. 

* Summer was now over. . . . The Melians again took another 
part of the Athenian lines which were but feebly garrisoned. 
Beinforcements afterwards arriving from Athens in consequence, 
under the command of Philocrates, son of Demeas, the siege was 
now pressed vigorously ; and some treachery taking place inside, 
the Melians surrendered at discretion to the Athenians, who pat 


to death all the grown men whom they took, and sold the CHAP, 
women and children for slaves, and subsequently sent out five HI 
hundred colonists and inhabited the place themselves.' ^ 

The argument in both these passages might be quoted as 
classic examples of what in modern phraseology is known as 

• ••••■• 

Since these last words were written in 1913 the same 
argument has been used by the Chancellor of the German 
Empire to justify the invasion of Belgium. 

* Gentlemen, we are now in a state of necessity, and necessity 

knows no law! Our troops have occupied Luxemburg, and 

perhaps (as a matter of fact the speaker knew that Belgium 
had been invaded that morning) are already on Belgian soil. 
Gentlemen, that is contrary to the dictates of international law. 
It is true that the French Government ha0 declared at Brussels 
that France is willing to respect the neutrality of Belgium as 
long as her opponent respects it. We knew, however, that 
France stood ready for the invasion. France could wait, but 
we could not wait. A French movement upon our flank upon 
the lower Bhine might have been disastrous. 80 we were 
compelled to override the just protest of the Luxemburg and 
Belgian Governments. The wrong — I speak openly — that we 

are committing we will endeavour to make good as soon as our 
military goal has been reached. Anybody who is threatened, 
as we are threatened, and is fighting for his highest possessions 
oan have only one thought — how he i\ to hack his way 
through (toie er sich dwrchkaut) ! ' ^ 

If the words here underlined are compared with those 
similarly marked on p. 232, and with the argument on behalf 
of Governor Mostyn on p. 230, the essential similarity of the 
reasoning will be seen. 

^ ThucydideB, Pshponnetian fVar, translated by Bldiard Orawley, voL 
ii pp. 58-67. 

^ Speech of the German Chancellor, delivered in the Reichstag on 4th 
Angost 1914. Eztraoted from the TinuSf Tuesday, August 11, 1014, 
p. $, col. 1< 



CHAP. Contact with worlds both older and younger than 
.^^^^.^^^^^^ herself led to deep and far-reaching changes in the 
Social and internal condition of Europe. At the time of Henry 
^uiT^^ the Navigator the soil wai parcelled out in great 
m^Eoro^ estates held by nobles and by religious foundations, 
by the and, as their produce could not be marketed and 
t£eT^ ^ turned into cash, it was mostly consumed on the spot 
p^ecte^f i^ supporting large bodies of feudal retainers. His 
coioniza- inventions, however, greatly improved the facili- 
ties for exchange. Articles of value were multiplied, 
the materials of i)oinage were increased, and the desire 
of the wealthy to possess them was stimulated. As 
in the present age the standard of living was rapidly 
raised. Landowners learned that it was possible to 
divert the bulky produce of their estates from the 
entertainment of their dependents to purchasing 
objects of luxury for themselves. Many sought, 
moreover, to increase their wealth by investing it in 
trade with the newly opened continents. In England 
the diversion of agricultural produce from feudal 
hospitality to manufactures and exchange was 
hastened by the dissolution of the monasteries. A 
great part of their wealth was applied to the creation 
of a new nobility, who spent it not on the poor but 
on themselves, or else invested it in foreign or colonial 
enterprises. ' It is generally recognized that, from 



the latter half of Elizabeth's leign until the outbreak chap. 
of the Civil War, England was in a flourishing con- 

i dition. In fact this very prosperity implied economic 

distress among some classes. As civilization advances, 

I it becomes more complex, and economic progress, 

! while denoting an absolute increase in wealth, has 

hitherto implied a more uneven distribution thereof 
and greater extremes of riches and poverty. Such a 
period of progress, almost tantamount to an economic 
revolution, dates from the latter years of Elizabeth's 
reign. Wealth increased greatly, but at the same 
time pauperism became a permanent evil. . . . For 
virtually the first time Englishmen beheld as an 

i every -day sight " the spectacle of Dives and Lazarus 

existing side by side."'^ Where society is divided Rich and 
into the very rich* and very poor there naturally S^oa^^ 
appears a host of adventurers who aspire to wealth ^e^in 
which they know cannot be accumulated merely by distant 
the work of their own hands. The opening of the 
seventeenth century thus saw a decided increase of 
men eager to enrich themselves further by investing 
their property in foreign and colonial trade, and also 
of penniless adventurers ready to seek their fortunes 
across the seas, usually with the hope of returning 
home to enjoy their gains. 

This world-wide revolution had also helped to RoUgioua 
disturb the balance of religious ideas. Western Sso^^ 
Europe was now divided into contending camps, and ^^^ 
nowhere more than in England itself Hence there ^^™® 

i was a third class disposed to seek in the new countries Projects of 

not wealth, but a home where, in spite of physical uon^th^ 
hardship, they might enjoy the liberty to worship as ^^"^t 
they chose. Unlike the adventurers such emigrants 

> Beer, The Origins of the British Colmial SysUm, 1578-1660, pp. 44-6. . 
From the fiuboequent pages of this inquiry will be seen how deeply it is indebted 
to the recent researohes of this eminent American historian. The thanks of 
those interested in the inquiry are due to Mr. Beer and his publishers, for 
permiscnon to print the copious extracts made from his works. 




of English 

of medi- 
formed to 
areas to 
to circum- 
organs of 
ment ; (2) 

went to America meaning to stay there. They 
settled for the most part in the Northern colonies, 
and it was from them that the bulk of the American 
colonists were drawn. 

Thus in the beginning of the seventeenth century 
there were two influences at work, the one economic, 
the other religious, disposing Englishmen to found 
communities in the New World. The object of the 
present chapter is to examine the attitude of those 
in charge of English public affairs towards the various 
enterprises projected by those who sought wealth or 
freedom in America. As shown in Chapter III. the 
colonizing movement was one in which rulers followed 
rather than led their subjects. Even for English 
rulers, however, it was necessary that they should 
ask themselves in what relation the new communities 
were to stand to the old. With the powers of Europe 
struggling for possession of the New World, English- 
men, whether mercantile adventurers or religious 
refugees, were unable to found colonies entirely 
beyond the protection and control of the English 
Commonwealth, even had they desired to do so. 
The sanction and authority of the English Govern- 
ment had to be obtained ; and when application was 
made to the King and his ministers it was natural 
for them to consider how these ventures could be 
turned to the advantage of tho State. 

It is important to remember the form in which 
these projects were submitted to them. In the 
Middle Ages mechanics and merchants had developed 
the practice of forming guilds or corporations for 
the management of such aspects of their business 
as each individual could not control for himsell 
Guilds, like the Goldsmiths and Merchant Taylors, 
were formed to regulate the conduct of the several 
crafts, neither needing nor asking, to begin with at 
-least, any authority from the State. Craftsmen of 


all kinds and the meschants who deal in their wares chap. 


naturally tend to congregate together for the purpose 
of exchange. 

Such a congregation of human beings introduces 
certain dangers to health and social order to which 
agriculturists, from the more scattered nature of their 
occupation, are less exposed. Two thousand people 
collected in a town have common needs which do not 
arise in the life of a population distributed on farms. 
The principle of association already used in the regu- 
lation of individual trades was applied to meet these 
needs. Corporations were created to protect the town 
against internal disorder or external attack. Such 
corporations, therefore, soon found themselves called 
upon to fulfil certain functions appropriate to a 
government, and the powers derived from voluntary 
association were insufficient for the task. They tended, 
therefore, to develop in one of two directions, accord- 
ing to the nature of the country in which they were 
established. In parts of Germany and Italy, where 
no effective government was established, these cor- 
porations assumed the powers they needed and grew 
into city states. In a country like England, where 
the conditions of statehood had been realized, the 
corporation met the difficulty by obtaining from 
the central Government a delegation of its powers 
for local purposes. Powers of government were in fact 
delegated to the corporation in the form of charters. 
Thus in England corporations had developed, not 
into separate states, but into organs of local govern- 

The opening of the seas brought within the cjorpora- 
range of adventurers tasks which were usually too fimedfor 
large for one individual. Such enterprises were of ^'^^^t 
two kinds. Unlike the Portuguese the English at countries 

/» . 1 1 "L'l- I* • f .1 forced to 

first had no ambition for possessing or ruung the apply to 

Far East. They merely desired to trade with it, but for prhd^ 

R loges. 





formed for 

rights, and 
thus were 

the trade was too risky for single adventurers or ships, 
for * it was an accepted maxini that there was *' no 
peace beyond the line." ' ^ The result was the associ- 
ation of merchants desiring to engage in the Indian 
trade into a company whose business it was to 
organize fleets large enough to protect themselves. 
The possibility, if not the certainty, that such fleets 
would have to fight the navies of the Spanish king 
was foreseen, and it was essential that they should 
obtain beforehand some guarantees that their own 
Qovernment would not disown them as pirates. The 
new business, unlike that of a guild of craftsmen or 
of a municipal corporation, was such as was sure to 
provoke foreign complications, and hence arose the 
necessity of obtaining the authority of Government 
in some shape or fonn. Quite naturally such advent- 
urers assumed that those who contributed to the cost 
of the venture would alone enjoy the benefits to be 
reaped from it. Obviously it would have been 
inequitable if merchants who would not subscribe 
to the company had been allowed to send their ships 
under the protection of its convoys. Accordingly, 
what such companies asked for and got firom the 
Grown was a monopoly of the trade which they 
engaged to open ; nor could they, indeed, have raised 
the capital necessary for the purpose on any other 
terms. To understand the relations of England to 
Scotland and to the Irish and American colonies in 
the period under review, it is essential to remember 
that the whole Eastern trade was in the hands of a 
company, and also to realize how and why that 
company had acquired this vast monopoly. 

In searching, moreover, for new routes to the 
populous and civilized East, Europe had stumbled 
across a continent largely vacant, and in the parts 
nearest to Europe inhabited by savages unfit for any 

> Beer, The Origins <tf the BrUieh Colonial SysUm, 1678-1660, pp. 7-8. 


employment but hunting and war. In order to chap. 
realize the virgin wealth of America it was necessary s.^^,,,,^^^,^^^ 
to possess and to people it. The movement to destined 

J "I j.*i« J jj. develop 

acquire these territones seemed, and to some extent mtoor^ns 
was, no more than a repetition of the movement ^^^. 
which had once brought to England the Saxons and pent or 
Normans, and had subsequently led Strouffbow and separate 
hi« companions to IrelwS Just as Stronibow had '^^^ 
been granted by Henry II. such Irish lands as he 
might conquer, so were territories in North America 
granted by the Crown to the adventurers who applied 
for them. * These grants were distinctly feudal in 
nature, in that governmental rights were treated like 
private property, and were bestowed together with 
the soil upon the patentea' ^ The earliest of these 
grants which led to effective colonization was made, 
not to an individual, but to a corporation, controlled 
by a court elected from the members and presided 
over by an official who was called, as is the chairman 
of the Bank of England at the present day, a 
Governor.* In the light of after events it is plain 
that these corporations could not, like the Merchant 
Taylors or Bank of England, retain their original 
character. They might have become, like the English 
municipal corporations, organs of the State, provided 
that their members could be made to share the 
responsibilities of the Commonwealth as a whole. 
Failing that, it was natural that their devotion to 
the Commonwealth should languiBh, and that their 
members should come to regard themselves as dedi- 
cated first and foremost to the corporation in the 
control of whose fast-increasing interests they shared. 
In the latter case it was inevitable that a corporation 

* Beer, The Origins qfihe British Colonial System, 1678-1660, p. 297. 

' The accident of this title is lai^pely responable for the wholly misleading 
idea of a satrapy which clings to theae goyemonhipe. In origin they were 
the head officials of a corporation, and in the case of at least one colony 
remained so till tiie lasti 


CHAP, of men imbued with the principles of English society 
should develop into separate states.^ Presently, when 
English colonization had secured a footing on 
American soil, grants were made to individuals like 
Lord Baltimore, in whom was vested the power to 
make and enact laws ^ of and with the Advice, Assent, 
and Approbation of the Free-men of the same Pro- 
vince, or of the same part of them, or of their 
Delegates or De|)uties/ ^ To the settlers in these 
proprietary colonies were given rights similar to 
those bestowed on men who held their lands under 
chartered companies, like those of Virginia or Massa- 
chusetts. The result was the same. Both contained 
the germ of an institution which must* necessarily 
develop either into an organ of local government .or 
else into the legislature of an independent common- 
Element of It is important to realize further that in the grants 
inThSe^ made to these corporations there was, from the ter- 
ritorial nature of the privileges sought from the 
English Government, an ekment of monopoly. The 
intrinsic value of the rights secured by the Virginia 
Company and its successors from the Crown lay in 
the exclusive title secured to them under their patent 
to the ownership of land within certain wide limits. 
This element of monopoly is further obscured by the 
fact that they developed into states so completely 
that after generations have forgotten that originally 
they were no more than corporations.^ 
Colonizing Something more, however, was granted by the 
tioM^* Crown under its patent to these companies than a 
demand monopolv in land or trade. The very existence of the 

protection r ^ j 

against settlements they founded was menaced by France and 
BtateT Spain, and the shipping which brought their produce 

^ Beer, The Old Colonial System, Part I. vol. ii. pp. 284-6. 
s Maodonald, Select Charters iUustratine of Ameriean History, 1606^1776, 
p. 56. 

» Beer, ITie Origins qfthe British OoloniaZ System, 1678-1660, p. 324. 



from America to England was exposed to attack chap. 
by the fleets of both these powers, and also by those 
of the pirate states of North Africa. The Moslems 
had now been driven from Spain across the Straits of 
Gibraltar, but they still held their own in Morocco. 
There they had learned that the bridle with which 
Henry the Navigator had curbed Islam might be 
used as a scourge for the loins of Christendom. The 
Moors became a maritime people, and between 1609 
and 1616 their corsairs captured 466 vessels, whose 
crews and passengers were taken as slaves to Algiers 
and Morocco.^ 

That the Glovernment should expect some benefit interest 
for the State from these ventures in return for the Eng^ub 
valuable rights demanded and the onerous duties Q^^®™- 

, . T , , meat in 

assumed in grantmg them was only natural. Anxiety foetoring 
to make England independent of continental Europe ^oniza-^ 
in respect of shipping and of certain raw materials, ^'°^* 
more especially those of the shipbuilding industry, 
was the motive that prompted English statesmen 
to favour projects of American colonization. Her 
shipping was to England like the hair of Samson, the 
secret of her national strength. But the principal 
materials for shipbuilding were drawn from Northern 
Europe, and the possibility that she might be denied 
them was the nightmare of English Governments. 
From the Southern colonies they hoped that a 
substitute for the products of Southern Europe might 
in time be produced.^ The customs levied on goods 
imported from foreign countries were, however, an 
important source of public revenue. Till Charles I. 
ascended the throne, tonnage and poundage had been 

^ Trevelyan, England under the StuariSy p. 182. See also Beer, 77^ Old 
Colonial System, Part I. voL i. pp. 122-3. So kte as 1784 the disoovery of 
their own incapacity to deal with the Barbaiy pirates, when no longer pro- 
tected by British fleets, was a factor in impelling the States after secession 
into forming an effective union. Marshall, The Lift of Qtorgt WaehingUm^ 
vol. ii. p. 81. 

* See above, p. 196. 


CHAP, granted by Parliament to the King for his life, and 

^^ neither he nor his ministers were likely to welcome a 

policy which would tend to diminish these sources of 

revenue. While, therefore, they favoured projects 

which, as they hoped, might enable England to 

furnish her necessities from countries controlled by 

herself instead of from those which were or might 

be controlled by her enemies, it was assumed by all 

parties from the outset that the change must be made 

without diminishing the public revenue levied on the 


Contrac- That the colonies would export [their products to 

reiationB England alone and that these products would be 

b^twwln ^ taxed on arrival there, was from the first taken as a 

colonizing matter of course, alike by Government, adventurers, 

tions and and colouists.^ lu this there was no idea of treating 

mentT^ the colouicB as foreign states, for they were allowed to 

J^®^r draw from England supplies which might not under 

binding o x'r © 

nature English law be exported to any foreign state.* Thus 
English from the outset the grant of the patent under which 
the colony was founded was the subject of bargaining 
between the Government and the person or persons 
applying for it ; and the bargain when made was 
binding on the Government itself. A continental 
autocracy could have changed or cancelled the terms 
of a patent with a stroke of the pen. In England 
not the Government but the law was supreme, 
and the individual stood on an equal footing 
with the Government in subordination to the law. 
Thus the patent when granted was a contract with 
the State, ' and could be legally revoked only by the 
courts on suit brought by the Crown, showing that 
their provisions had been violated by the patentees.' ' 
In 1677 the judges pronounced the New England 

^ See Note A at end of this chapter, p. 257. 
^ See Note B at end of this chapter, p. 267. 
3 Beer, 7%« Origins of the British Colonial System, 1578-1660, p. 304. 



colony's charter of 1629 valid, and held that it made ohap. 
' the Adventurers a corporation upon the place/ ^ a 
decision which defeated a scheme to abrogate the 
Massachusetts charter in order to establish direct 
government of the colony by the Crown. 

From th^ first, therefore, the relations of the Relations 
Grovemment with corporations which they regarded J^fh*^^*"*^ 
as purely commercial were dominated by the idea ^^^^^^ 

^ •' .^ '' one of 

of compact. Wherever, as frequently happened, bsi^pin 
terms of the contract were found unsatisfactory by tract from 
either party, it was a question of bargaining to alter ^^® ^^^^ 
them. In 1620, for instance, James L, finding that 
he was not receiving an adequate revenue on tobacco 
from the Virginia Company, persuaded them to ac- 
quiesce in the payment of an increased duty in 
virtue of a promise on the part of the King to 
prevent the growing of tobacco in England iteelf.^ 
The bargain was faithfully carried out in 1636, and 
again in 1661, when regiments of soldiers were sent 
to destroy tobacco crops which had been raised in 
the counties of Gloucest^, Worcester, and Hereford.' 
A year later the Company was found to have started 
a warehouse in a foreign country. Such a course 
was scarcely calculated to commend itself to the 
Gk)vemment which in granting the Company their 
concession hoped that produce might be raised in 
America for England, and yield revenue to the King 
when landed there.* The wrangle which followed 
was ended by the Virginia and Bermuda Companies 
agreeing not to sell tobacco in foreign countries on 
condition that they should enjoy the sole right of 
importing tobacco into His Majesty's dominions. 
'The agreement was distinctly in the nature of a 

> Beer, T?ie Old Colonial System^ Part I. vol. ii. p. 271. 

* Beer, Th4 Origins qfVu British CfoUmial System, 1678^ieS0, pp. 112-18. 

* Ibid, pp. 166-8. See also Beer, The Old Colonial System, Part I. 
vol. i. p. 140. 

* See Kote at end of this chapter, p. 257. 


CHAP, bargain/ ^ The rapidly growing importance of 

commerce due to vastly increased facilities for 

marine transportation between peoples and continents 

led to relations between the new communities and 

the old which seemed from the first to be based 

on bargain and contract. An age had opened when 

the policy of statesmen began to be regulated by 

the maxims of the counter. 

To begin To begin with, adventurers applied to the Crown 

Sngalted ^^ their concessions, and it was with the King, in 

Stete ^*^* ^ ^^^ ^ ^^ name, that their bargains were 

When made. James L and his successor denied that 

ment Parliament had any jurisdiction in the matter, and 

Kinglihe^ hopod, HO doubt, to dcvclop a revenue for themselves 
^nh^^mi ^^7^^^ *^^ reach of parliamentary control. It was 
tractuai the Crowu, therefore, which legislated for the colonies 
waa ren- by Order in council. Here again was exemplified the 
de^te^r truth that no permanent compromise is possible 
^r p^°i^ between the principle of autocracy and that of the 
ment Commonwealth. No people is assured of the control 
superseded of any of their public affairs until they have assumed 
patente*^ the coutrol of all of them. Any powers of govern- 
ment which the Crown retained, the King was certain, 
sooner or later, to enlarge and use as a substitute for 
those he had lost. The struggle was one which could 
never end until Parliament had asserted its right to 
control all the powers of the Crown, including those 
of granting patents. With the execution of Charles 
I. and the suspension of the monarchy, the King's 
power to legislate for the colonies by order in council 
without reference to Parliament vanished, and was 
not reasserted by Charles II. Henceforward the 
commercial relations of England with the colonies 
were determined by Acts of Parliament. But Parlia- 
ment represented the people of England alone, and 
was as much disposed as ever the King or his 

1 Beer, The Origins of the BrUish Colofwd System, 1678-1660, p. 195. 


ministers had been to view the matter from a stand- chap. 
point which was primarily English. Instead of s.,^^^,^^,,,^ 
reversing the contractual principle which inspired the 
policy of the kings and their ministers, Parliament 
accepted that principle as the basis of its own 
statutes. The famous Navigation Act of 1660 
Hook less than a month to pass the House of 
Commons, there being virtually no opposition, since 
the bill embodied principles that were then uni- 
versally accepted, and which already formed part of 
England's traditional policy.' ^ The colonial system, 
or * le pacte colonial ' as the French have accurately 
called it, was embodied in more than one hundred 
statutes, of which the principal were the Navigation 
Act of 1660, the Staple Act of 1663, and the Planta- 
tion Duties Act of 1673. For the purpose of this 
inquiry it will suffice to indicate the broad principles 
which inspired this volume of fiscal legislation, noting 
at the outset that in the detailed application of these 
principles there were many exceptions which may be 
studied by those who are interested to pursue the 
subject in the masterly researches of Beer. 

The original motive of the policy was to make Principles 
English shipping and industries independent of foreign Mng the 
states. Hence the colonies were to be excluded from gH^""^ 
trade with foreign states, and were to trade with 
England alone. The outlying parts of the Empire 
were to pour their products into England like 
tributaries into a common stream. England was to 
be the estuary through which all trade with foreign 
nations was to go out and to come in. There was, 
moreover, an ever-increasing tendency to make 
England the emporium of trade between the differ- 
ent parts of the Empire. Scotland and the Irish 
and American colonies were forbidden to trade 
direct with the East. England was the sole channel 

^ Beer, The Old Colonial System^ Part I. vol. L p. 58. 


CHAP, through which all traffic between the colonies and 


dependencies must pass.^ 

Effect on The hope of developing sources of revenue which 

cofoniai WCFC then less subject to the control of Parliament 
system of ^]^^j^ internal taxes had been one of the motives 

transfer- , 

ring its which influenced James I. and his successor in creating 
from King the systcm. But when their system passed to the 
ment ^"^ coutrol of Parliament this particular motive ceased 
to operate. Parliament, on the other hand, was 
swayed by the influence of merchants whose chief 
concern was to protect their business from com- 
petition.^ The protective motive superseded the 
desire of raising revenue, and according to Beer's 
calculations the system can scarcely have yielded 
£6000 a year to the public revenue at the time of 
the Seven Years' War.' It was the alarming growth 
of public indebtedness and of the cost of defence 
which led Parliament, after the Peace of Paris, to 
treat the system as a serious source of revenue. Up 
till then the ruling motive of the English Parliament 
had been the protection of English industries, and 
their policy towards Scottish, Irish, and colonial 
industries, as well as towards foreign industries, was 
influenced by that motive. The English Parliament 
deliberately set itself to crush the nascent manu- 
factures of Ireland and the colonies, justifying its 
action in doing so on the ground that English 
industries were called upon to meet all but a negligible 
fraction of the cost of Imperial defence. England 
was to undertake the defence of the Empire as a 
whole, and to defray the cost from its industries. 
The Irish and American colonies were to confine 
themselves to producing the raw material of those 
industries. Of the sister kingdom of Scotland no 

1 Beer, BrUish Colonial Policy, 1764-1765, p. 125. 
a Ibid, p. 234. 
' Ibid, Chap. iii. 


particular account was taken in the system. She ohap. 
must regard herself as compensated for finding no 
appropriate place in it by the gratuitous protection 
of the British fleets. 

Such was the underlying idea ; and the innumerable Adminia- 
restrictions which grew up rose from the diflBculty of difficulty 
giving effect to it in practice. Up to the time of enforcing 
the Commonwealth, for instance, a great part of the ^^^^ 
trade between England and the colonies was, through increase of 
the lack of a sufficient number of English ships, tions, (i) 
carried in Dutch bottoms. The practical difficulty f[^^^ 
of securing that a Dutch vessel, when once it had sWpe from 


quitted a colonial port, should discharge its cargo in trade. 
England instead of diverting it to the Continent, was 
one of the motives of the first Navigation Act passed 
by the Eump Parliament in 1651.^ 

The outlying parts of the Empire were at first (2) Re- 
permitted to trade freely with each other. While the onTnter-* 
English Parliament had assumed the right to control ^e!*^ 
by legislation the mutual relations of the various 
parts of the Empire, it possessed nowhere, except in 
England, an effective machinery of administrative 
control. In certain parts of the King's dominions 
such control was conspicuously lacking, especially in 
the sister kingdom of Scotland « and the colonies of 
New England. It was difficult, if not impossible, for 
the English Government to prevent merchants in 
Glasgow or Boston from trading with the Continent 
if they chose to do so. The inevitable consequence 
was that merchants in Ireland and the other colonies, 
who desired to trade with the Continent, were tempted 
to send their goods to those other parts of the Empire 
which had special facilities for illicit trade with foreign 
states. The result was a serious loss to the English 

^ Beer, The Old Colonial Sygtem, Part I. vol. i. p. 61. 
' Keith, CommerciallUlaiionB rf England and SeoUand^ 1603-1707 ^ pp. 71, 




(8) Re- 

and Irish 

devised in 
of colonial 
as well as 
of English 

customs, and an even more serious disadvantage to 
those merchants who conducted their trade in accord- 
ance with the law, and it was to remedy these evils 
that a series of restrictions were imposed on the trade 
between different parts of the Empire. The Acts of 
1660 and 1663 had practically excluded Scotland 
from the legitimate plantation trade. In 1673 an 
Act was passed imposing duties on intercolonial trade, 
and a growing tendency set in to exclude Ireland 
from the trade as well. The administrative difficulty 
of enforcing the law in a decentralized Empire led in 
fact to a general tendency between the middle of the 
seventeenth and eighteenth centuries to tighten the 
system, and to insist on the idea that England was to 
be the general clearing-house of commerce, through 
which must pass, not only the foreign trade of the 
Empire, but the trade of one part of the Empire with 
another ; though, as noted already, there were 
numerous exceptions in detail. 

It is a mistake, however, as Beer has shown, to 
treat the policy as one devised entirely in the interests 
of the English people. * A large number of colonial 
products received especial advantages in the British 
market by a system of preferential duties, by direct 
bounties, or by a combination of both, with the 
result that in a number of instances they acquired a 
monopoly thereof at the expense of foreign goods, 
with which under normal conditions they could not 
compete.' ^ In the case of tobacco the law went even 
further in absolutely prohibiting the English farmer 
from cultivating a singularly profitable crop, a prohi- 
bition which was effectively enforced. * It would be 
difficult,' says Beer, *to estimate whether colony or 
metropolis was called upon to bear a greater propor- 
tion of the sacrifice demanded by the prevailing ideal 
of a self-sufficient commercial Empire.' ^ 

1 Beer, British Col<mial Policy, 1754-1765, p. 194. « Ihid. p. 201. 


It was believed, however, in the colonies that the chap. 


commercial advantage of the system lay with England, s.^^^,^,.,^ 
and the English Government intended that it should The 
be so. The colonies were supposed to be compensated ^^^ 
by the immunity which they enjoyed from the Fi™a"iy 
burdens of Imperial defence. The conception which enriching 
inspired the policy of the colonial pact is put in a in order 
nutshell by two seventeenth-century writers quoted Jj^nd^**^ 
by Beer. ' " The true Interest of England is its Trade ; "^^f^^^ 
if this receives a Baifle, England is neither able to bear the 

*" ^ whole 

Support its Self, nor the Plantations that depend charge of 
upon it, & then consequently they must crumble into dTfenol^!^ 
So many distinct independ*^ Govern** & thereby 
becoming weak will be a Prey to any Stronger Power 
w"* shall attacque them." 

*From the very nature of the Empire's political 
organization it followed inevitably that the main 
burden of its defence had to be assumed by England. 
As was said in 1683, " small divided remote Govern- 
ments being seldom able to defend themselves, the 
Burthen of the Protecting them all, must lye upon 
the chiefest Kingdom oi England. ... In case of war 
with forraign Nations, England commonly beareth 
the whole Burthen and chsirge, whereby many in 
England are utterly undone." ' ^ 

The Imperial Government, in fact, undertook to ThePariia- 
secure the whole of the King's dominions, including w^t-* 
Scotland and the Irish and American colonies, against ^^^^ 
external aggi?ession in an epoch when actual conquest g^iahed 
by foreign states was a real and constantly recurring Scottish, 
danger. The immense charge involved was before ^on\l\ 
1765 met by taxes lunited to the inhabitants of ^^^"^ 
the area which sent representatives to Westminster, different 
These conditions account for one fact which it is to the 


* Beer, The Old Colonial System^ Part I. vol. i. p. Ill, quoting John Carey, 
and also England's Guide to Indvstry (London, 1683), pp. 75-7. See also 
Note D at end of this chapter, p. 258. 


CHAP, essential to hold in mind when examining the 

IV . 

relations of England to Scotland, Ireland, and the 
colonies. In these countries the relations of the 
executive and legislature were totally different from 
those developed at Westminster. In Chapter II. the 
inquiry has traced the gradual process by which the 
principle of autocracy was eliminated in England, 
and the State was reconstituted on the principle 
of the commonwealth. Teutonic tradition required 
that the King should rule his people in accordance 
with their customs, and before changing their customs 
he was expected to obtain the consent of the people 
themselves. When the people grew too numerous 
to assemble in one place, the assent was given 
through representatives who became a clearly defined 
legislative organ. This was a great step in the 
development of the Commonwealth ; and down to the 
close of the eighteenth century the separation of the 
legislature and the executive, ' a free and independent 
parliament,' was regarded by political thinkers as 
the final and sufficient condition of liberty. In a 
commonwealth, however, government is simply the 
administration of the law, and the facts to which 
laws apply are constantly changing. The raising 
and spending of revenue, essential conditions of all 
civilized governments, must in a commonwealth be 
made the subject of laws, and the facts with which 
they deal are so fluctuating as to require constant 
revision from year to year. The state cannot continue 
without government, nor government without the 
recurring activity of the legislature. Government 
must be able to secure the funds and obtain certain 
necessary changes in the law, or otherwise the state 
will perish. The executive and legislature could 
only exist as separate and independent organs on the 
assumption that they could always be trusted to 
agree before catastrophe overwhelmed the common • 


wealth. The unvaried experience of the British ohap. 
Commonwealth has gone to disprove this assump- 
tion, and to show that however the legislative and 
executive functions may be distinguished for the 
purposes of theory, in practice they are inseparable 
aspects of one indivisible whole— Government. 

In its victory over Charles I. Parliament had Estebiish- 
asserted, once for all, its position as the sole organ of ^^kf 
leffislation. For the next two centuries there ensued reUtions 

. , . i» "I • between 

a half-unconseions struggle, in the course of which the legislature 
King began by controlling Parliament, which in ao far *^Ltive 
as it yielded to such control, ceased to be answerable to J^i^^r. 
the people. Gradually, however, Parliament acquired 
control of the Crown and became increasingly answer- 
able to the people themselves The change was 
unconsciously effected by a legal fiction. Govern- 
ment was conducted by the leaders of Parliament 
more and more in deference to its views and less and 
less in deference to the views of the King. The legal 
fiction worked because successive monarchs gradually 
acquiesced in the practice of allowing their names to 
be used for policies with which they personally dis- 
agreed. The executive was in fact not separated 
from the legislature, but reunited to it, as it had been 
when, centuries before, the King himself ordained the 
laws. Had the two remained really separate, govern- 
ment would have come to a standstill and the State 
would have foundered. 

In Scotland and the colonies, on the other hand, J^ ^^^ 
none of the assemblies acquired the power of chang- Ireland, 
ing and therefore of controlling their own executives, colonies 
Neither were their executives in reality appointed by tilfnr^ 
the King, for the governors and other oflScials who legislature 

. 7' - - " . . _- T T 1 T 1 and execu- 

constituted the executives, except m Rhode Island and tive were 
Connecticut, held their appointments at the will of R^n^^' 
ministers who held their own offices at the will of the ^V ^^®^ 

so long 

Parliament at Westminster. The reason why such remained 

•' in this 



CHAP, an arrangement continued so long as it did is obvious. 
^ The real responsibility for national life or death 
remained with the Government at Westminster and 
never rested on these minor assemblies. The functions 
of local government assigned to them were not such 
as, if undischarged, brought them straightway face to 
face with destruction. They felt, and had by the 
commercial system been taught to feel, that the 
British Government stood behind them. In several 
of the American colonies government was paralysed 
by the disputes of the legislature with the executive 
when French armies were crossing their frontiers. 
Sooner or later, however, it began to appear that 
the system would only work in the long run if the 
local assemblies abdicated their functions and bowed 
to executives whose authority was ultimately derived 
from the Parliament at Westminster. 

There was in fact one executive in the Common- 
wealth and many legislatures, representing many 
communities. The Parliament at Westminster con- 
trolled the executive, and asserted the right to 
control the relations of all these communities with 
one another and with foreign states. The control was 
avowedly exercised in the interests of English com- 
merce on the plea that the cost of the system was to 
be treated as a charge on that commerce. The 
relations of England to the other parts of the Common- 
wealth were to be based on a balance of material 
interests. In the following chapters it will be necessary 
to see how far it was possible in a rapidly changing 
world to preserve the balance, and what happened to 
relations between the different parts of the Common- 
wealth when the interests upon which they rested 
began to change, shift, and alter their centre of 


NOTE A • ^^iv^' 


' From the very earliest days of the British Empire, it was See page 
clearly understood that the dependencies were to be outside the ^^^' 
barriers of the English fiscal system, and that merchandise 
exported to the colonies or imported from them should pay 
customs duties. The prospective increase in this revenue, as a 
result of colonization, was used by Hakluyt in 1584 as an 
argument in favor of a policy of expansion, and in all the 
colonial charters it was distinctly specified that duties were to 
be levied on this trade.' ^ ^ If the colonial trade had been left 
completely uncontrolled, the colonies would still necessarily 
have been more or less affected by these duties, but the English 
fiscal regulations would not have been integrally connected with 
the colonial system proper.' *^ 




' Parliamentary statutes and royal proclamations prohibited See page 
the exportation from England of a number of commodities. 246* 
Some of these were essential to the development of new settle- 
ments, and accordingly, it was customary to insert in the letters 
patent a clause, permitting the exportation of such articles. 
The Virginia charter of 1606 permitted the shipment from 
England of all commodities necessary for the proposed colonies. 
Similarly the New England charter of 1620 allowed the 
patentees to export weapons, victuals, clothing, utensils, furniture, 
cattle, horses, and " all other things necessary for y* s^ planta^on, 
& for their use & defense & for trade w^ the people there." 
Provisions to the same effect were inserted in the other charters.' ^ 



^The Privy Council ... on October 24, 1621, issued an Seepage 
order, which stated that the King had granted large immunities ^^^* 

1 Beer, The Origins of the British Colonial System, 1578-1660, p. 101. 
' Beer, The Old Colonial SysUm, Part I. voL i. p. 128. 
» Beer, The Origins of the British Colmial System, 1678-1660, pp. 105, 


CHAP. ^^^ privileges to the colony in the expectation that it would 
IV apply itself '^ unto such courses as might mos( firmly incorporate 
^— ^v^*-^ y* Plantation unto His Commonwealth & be most bene- 
ficiall to the same, w^ will best be done if the Comodities 
brought from thence were appropriated unto his Ma*^ subjects 
& not communicated to fforeign Countries but by way of 
Trade & Commerce from hence only"; that the Yii^nia 
Company had settled a magazine in a foreign country, which 
course could not be permitted, " neither in policy nor for the 
hon' of ye state (that being but a Colony derived from thence) 
as also for that it may be a Loss unto his Ma^ in His Customs, 
if not the hazarding of y* Trade w*^ in future times is well 
hoped may be of much profitt use & importance to this 
Commonwealth." Therefore the Privy Council ordered that 
tobacco and all other products of Virginia should be first landed 
in England and the customs thereon paid, before being shipped 
to foreign countries. Thus, on the first organized attempt to 
establish a direct trade from Virginia to a foreign country, the 
English government categorically asserted the principle, that 
the colony's export trade should be exclusively confined to the 
metropolis.' ^ 



Seepage As early as 1623 'a leading member of the Virginia 

2^3- Company asserted that if the colony sought a foreign market 

for its produce, this would in time, "produce an independence 
vpon this Kingdome mutuall comerce beinge the strongest bond 
yt will vnite Virginia to this State." ' * A memorial prepared 
by Robert Mason the proprietor of New Hampshire in 1665» 
illustrates the tendency of Englishmen in ihe seventeenth 
century on both sides of the Atlantic to rely upon a balance 
of interests to unite the colonies to England. Mason urges the 
Grovernment to send commissioners to New England 'who 
should "endeavor to show the advantages which may arise to 
them by a better confidence and correspondence with England 
and by their cheerful submission to those ordinary duties, 
customs, and regulations, which are set upon trade in all other 
His Majesty's dominions, colonies, and plantations." These 
commissioners were further to point out how inconsistent 
exemption from these rules would be with the fact that the 
King of England " in all Treaties, and by his Fleets at Sea takes 

* Beer, The Origins of the British Colonial Systenty 1678-1660, pp. 191, 192. 
« Ibid, p. 177. 


New-England into the Common Protection, and provides for CHAP. 
its Safety as belonging to this Growne, and may therefore expect IV 
some Measure out of the benefitt that arises to them in their 
Trade by their being English and happy subjects of this Crowne." 
... In the eyes of the statesmen and publicists of the day, 
England was fully justified in restricting colonial commerce in 
return for the burden assumed in defending and policing the 
Empire. If there existed any doubts on this point, they were 
more than quieted by the preferential treatment accorded to 
colonial products in the English market. While the enumerated 
articles could not be shipped to any place in Europe but 
England, in return competing commodities of foreign nations 
were virtually excluded from this market. The reciprocal 
nature of the old colonial system is manifest not only in the 
scheme of imperial defence, but to an even more marked degree 
in the preferential features of England's fiscal system.' ^ 

^ Beer, The Old Colonial System, Part I. vol. i. pp. 108, 109, 127. 




CHAP. In the Middle Ages Scotland had been united to 
.^^.^^^^^^^ England by the conquests of Edward I. , who actually 
Conquest summoued Scottish members to his Parliaments. 
?and by This uuiou, howevci, was destroyed at Bannockburn, 
mTand ' ^^^ ^^^ *^® present it is sufficient to notice two 
1298. results which followed the severance of the two 
and the kingdoms. Robert the Bruce, who had sat in the 
5^W ' Parliaments of Edward L, copied his example on 
ascending the Scottish throne, by instituting a Parlia- 
ment in his own kingdom, which maintained a some- 
what shadowy existence till the eighteenth century. 
The second result of Bannockburn was a deep 
antagonism of the two kingdoms, leading to a close 
alliance of Scotland with France. To England, as 
Shakespeare's Henry V. says, the Scot was * a giddy 
neighbour ' : 

For you shall read that my great-grandfather 

Never went with his forces into France 

But that the Scot on his unfumish'd kingdom 

Came pouring, like the tide into a breach, 

With ample and brim fulness of his force, 

Galling the gleaned land with hot assays, 

Girding with grievous siege castles and towns ; 

That England, being empty of defence, 

Hath shook and trembled at th' ill neighbourhood.^ 

' Shakespeare, King Henry V, Act i. Scene iL 



The marriage of Margaret, daughter of Henry VIL, chap. 
with James IV. was destined to unite the two Crowns, ,„^^^.,^^^^ 
just when their common revolt £rom Eome was Results of 
beginning to reconcile the two peoples. Scotland was fomation 
alienated from France by the Reformation, which led l^^^^^' 
to the establishment of the General Assembly of the umon of 
Presbyterian Kirk, a body which gave the Scots what crowns, 
their phantom Parliament had never given them, a ^^^' 
real organ of the popular will. In 1603 the great- 
grandson of Margaret and James IV., who in 1567 i567. 
had been crowned James VI. of Scotland, peacefully 
succeeded to the English throne.^ 

The accession of the Scottish dynasty to the Effect of 
English throne had curiously diflFerent results in the of ti^^^° 
two kingdoms. In Scotland the King found himself, ^otUnd!** 
for the first time, backed by forces drawn from 
England, strong enough to repress the elements of 
disorder and to exact some semblance of a general 
obedience to the national Government. Four years 
after the union of the Crowns, King James said to his 
English Parliament, * I write and it is done, and by a 
Clearke of the Councell I goveme Scotland now, 
which others could not do by the sword.' ^ 

In England, on the other hand, the accession of a Effect of 
dynasty accustomed to the subservience of Scottish of the"*°" 
Parliaments hastened the crisis which transferred the Engknd?" 
sovereignty from the King to the people. To James 
his Scottish Estates were * the model of what Parlia- 
mentary institutions ought to be : "If any man doe 
propound or utter any seditious or uncomely speeches, 
he is straight interrupted and silenced. Only such 
bills as I allowe of are put into the Chancellor's hand 
to be propounded to the Parliament. When they 
have passed them for lawes, they are presented unto 

^ For a more detailed account of Scotland and the Scottish Parliament 
before the Union of the Crowns see Note A at end of this chapter, p. 296. 

* Rait, Scotlandy p. 166. See alap Keith, Commercial Relations of Engiand 
and Seotlandy 1603^1707, pp. 20-1. 

the ecclesi- 


CHAP, me, and ... I must say : * I ratifie and approve 
all things done in this present Parliament.' And if 
there bee anything that I dislike, they rase it out 
before." ' ' 
English Finding himself the recognized head of the Epis- 

s^ttish copal Church of England, he proceeded to enforce 
mente conformity with its tenets on his subjects in both 
united in kingdoms. This policy, continued by his uncompromis- 

a solemn x. >/ * j x. 

league and ing SOU, forccd the General Assembly of the Presby- 
to q?pose terian Church and the Parliament of England, itself 
largely Presbyterian, to combine against him. In 
of negotiating such an alliance, however, it was natural 
1643. *' that the English Parliament should prefer to deal 
with a civil body which like itself could claim to 
represent the nation as a whole, than with the 
Assembly of the Scottish Presbyterian Church. 
Henceforward the Scottish Parliament began to over- 
shadow the ecclesiastical body which had done so 
much more than itself for the national unity of 
Scotland. Quickened by the example and vitality of 
the English Parliament, it now began to speak as the 
real mouthpiece of the Scottish nation, and to be 
recognized as the one authority competent to do so. 
The result was a solemn league and covenant between 
the two Parliaments which ' bound the three nations 
of England, Scotland, and Ireland to swear "each 
one of us for himself, with our hands lifted up to the 
Most High God," to " endeavour to bring the Churches 
of God in the three kingdoms to the nearest conjunc- 
tion and uniformity in religion, confession of faith, 
form of Church government, directory for worship 
and catechizing *' ; to " endeavour the extirpation " 
of Popery, Prelacy, and schism ; to " preserve and 
defend the King's Majesty's person and authority in 
the preservation and defence of the true religion, and 
liberties of the kingdoms " ; and to bring to trial and 

1 Rait, Scotland, p. 167. 


"condign punishment" all enemies of the Solemn chap. 
League and Covenant. It was ratified by the Parlia- ,,^^..^^^,^ 
ment and by the Assembly of Divines at West- 
minster and " ordained to be solemnly taken in all 
places throughout the Kingdom of England and the 
Dominion of Wales." The General Assembly saw to 
its subscription in Scotland.' ^ 

As has happened so often before and since, an Attempt 
attempt was made to control Britain through Ireland, if in iLT 
and to support his tottering cause Charles now fell Engiimd^ 
back on forces recruited from the Catholic Irish. J"^, , 


But the attempt was viewed by Protestant England with Irish 
and Scotland in much the same light as the burghers leading 
of the Orange Free State and the Transvaal thirty ^ecution 
years ago would have regarded an attempt by England ^^ i^^^- 
to subdue them by forces recruited from the Zulu and 
Basuto tribes. In Aberdeen, where the Irish were 
left by Montrose * " killing, robbing, and plundering 
... at their pleasure. . . . The wife durst not cry 
nor weep at her husband's slaughter before her eyes, 
nor the mother for her son, nor daughter for father ; 
if they were heard, they were presently slain also." 
For three days the ** savage Irish " worked their will, 
even while Montrose, at the market cross of this 
Royalist town, was making proclamation of letters 
patent which promised pardon to penitent subjects of 
the King.'* Montrose, however, was defeated by 
Leslie at Philiphaugh, where *A butchery "more 
horrible than any that had followed upon any of 
Montrose's victories" stained Leslie's laurels on his 
great day. An eye for an eye and a tooth for a 
tooth would have been a code of mercy at Philip- 
haugh. The defenders of Christ's Crown and 
Covenant slaughtered in cold blood 300 Irish women 
and children, and fifty soldiers whose lives they had 

1 Rait, Scotland, p. 216. 
« lUd, pp. 220-1. 


CHAP,] promised to spare. Provocation had not been want- 
^^^^^^^^ iug, for Montrose's Irish had alain men "with no 
more feeling of compassion and with the same careless 
neglect that they kill a hen or capon for their supper," 
and the Ulster massacres had created a feeling against 
Irish Roman Catholics similar to that which in more 
recent days the massacre of Cawnpore aroused against 
the Sepoys.' ^ The King surrendered to the Scottish 
•- 1646. army near Newark, and was handed over to the 
English Parliament on condition that no harm should 
befall his person. The Irish card having failed, 
Charles began to intrigue with die Scots, seeking with 
their aid to regain his liberty and the mastery of 
England. The growing importance of their Parliament 
had now attracted to its benches the flower of the 
Scottish nobility, who were thoroughly alarmed by the 
growth of the Republican movement in England. 
Charles treacherously promised to establish by force the 
Presbyterian Church in England ; and the Scottish 
Parliament by a large majority resolved to invade 

1648. England, and sent Hamilton with 10,000 men across 
the border, but only to be destroyed by Cromwell 

1649. near Preston. The execution of the King was the 
immediate result. 

Execu- Horrified at this act, the Scottish Parliament 

ow^i. hastened to proclaim Charles II., not merely as King 
denounced q£ Scotland, but also as King of England and Ireland. 
Scottish Cromwell, returning from Ireland,* where he had gone 
wMch™^" to reassert the authority of the English Common- 
waron^ Wealth, iuvadcd Scotland and defeated Leslie at 
England. Duubar. Charlcs 11. , however, was crowned at Scone, 
Leslie and marched on England with an army furnished by 
afi^^bar, ^^^ Scottish Parliament. At Worcester his forces were 
1650 ^' defeated and destroyed by Cromwell on the anni- 
Charies II. vcFsary of Duubar. Charles fled the country, and in 

defeated at 

Worcester i Rait, Scotland, p. 224, quoting Gardiner, OrecU Civil War, vol. ii. p. 

?«?i' ^' 356. 


Scotland as well as in England the monarchy for the chap. 
time being ceased to exist. The bond established 
between the two countries by the union of the Crowns 
was gone. 

Recent events, however, had proved that the Pariia- 
lives of the two nations were inseparably con- un^no^ 
nected, and some new bond had to be found for two ^nl^*^^ 
communities which were now Commonwealths not Scotland 
merely in substance but also in name. ' The English Cromweii. 
Parliament at first spoke of asserting the right of 
conquest over " so much of Scotland as is now under 
the power of the Forces of this Commonwealth." ' ^ * It 
is not for the honour of the English nation to have 
foreigners to come and have a power in the legislature. 
They are but provinces at best. In justice you ought 
not to admit any other to have an equal power with 
your own nation.' These words, uttered by Thomas 
Go wen, the member for Launceston in 1659, show 
that in the Rump there were not wanting men who 
would have treated the Scots as they had treated the 
Irish, and as Athens had once treated her Ionian 
allies. When, however, the whole country lay at 
England's feet, wiser counsels prevailed, and it was * 

determined to incorporate England and Scotland as 
one Commonwealth. Hence it was felt that some 
form of assent should be obtained from the Scottish 
people themselves, and representatives from the shires 
and burghs were assembled at Dalkeith for the pur- 
pose. Scotland was accorded thirty members in the 
* British Parliament. The second Protectorate Parlia- 
ment, which included three Scottish peers in the 
House of Lords, formally ratified the Uuion. 

Cromwell died soon after, and the Rump, which Death of 
reassembled in the following May, declined to less!^^ ' 
recognize the legality of the measure, but was itself 

' Rait, Scotland^ pp. 237-8, quoting C. S. Terry, The Cromwellian 
Union (Scottish Historical Society). 


CHAP, dissolved by Monk before it had perfected a new 
^^^^^^^^^^^^ Bill to ratify the Union. Monk proceeded to 
Dissoiu- summon a separate Parliament for Scotland, which 
tiiTunion ^^^ hailed the restoration of Charles II. as a deliver- 
i66o^T^d *^^® from subjection to the English Commonwealth. 
restoration The Uniou was far from popular in England itself, 
II. where for the moment it had seriously increased 

the cost of government to the tax- payers.* 
Obsequious- Charlcs 11. began by appointing an obsequious 
ScSt^h Privy Council, and a new Parliament, in which the 
summwied* elcctivc members as well as the temporal and spiritual 
in 1661 by peers wcrc allowed to choose their own Lords of the 
Articles,' was summoned and met at Edinburgh. 
By judicious packing Charles 11. was able to maintain 
in Scotland Parliaments as obsequious as his Privy 
Councils. But the necessity of packing his Parlia- 
ments points to the fact that the King could no 
longer hector them as his grandfather had done. 
The English system, under which changes in the 
law required the consent of Parliament, - had come 
to stay. In Scotland as in England the legislative 
power, at any rate, had once for all passed from 
King to Parliament, and the effect on their mutual 
relations began to appear. 
James Jamcs, Dukc of York, who was the heir to the 

inmo throne, was a bigoted Catholic, and the prospect of 
^dusion his succession was increasingly distasteful to the 
^»y <^he English people. To exclude Jiim, a Bill was introduced 
Parliament into Parliament, the supporters and opponents of 
English^ which, first known as ' Petitioners ' and ' Abhorrers,' 
induct ^®^^ afterwards called Whigs and Tories. The Bill 
tiie passed the Commons, but was rejected in the Lords. 

Parliament Jamcs, howcvcr, fearing that his right to the English 

in 1680 t0/->i •• jjij."j^ i_* 

ratify his Crowu was lu jcopardy, determined to secure his 
to the ancestral title to the  Northern kingdom. For seven 


throne. * Keith, Commercial delations of England and Scotland ^ 1608-1707, p. 59. 

- See Note A at end of this chapter, p. 299. 


years no Scottish Parliament had sat, but James, as chap. 

his brother's Royal Commissioner (a position answering 

to that of Viceroy in Ireland), proceeded to convene 

a Parliament, which in obedience to his wishes passed 

an Act declaring that any one who attempted to alter lesi. 

the succession was guilty of perjury and rebellion. 

When James 11. succeeded to the throne the James ii. 
Scottish Parliament, not pliable enough to repeal the thet^rone, 
penal laws against Catholics at his bidding, was dis- scotuah 
solved. No other was called, and the King ffoverned P^^'i^r 

mcnt 18 

through the Privy Council, which he filled with dissolved 
members of that religion. His attempt to pursue a to supi^rf 
similar policy in England so alienated all Protestant cathoii« 
sections of opinion that the leaders of both parties v^^^y>, 

wliicli in 

invited William of Orange, Stadholder of the Dutch England 
Republic, who had married James's daughter, Mary, [if " '° 
to come over and assume the government. William wiiHMn*^" 
landed at Torbay, and James fled to France. and Mary 

In England the Revolution was consummated by the throne 
the Bill of Rights, an Act of Parliament which began "^ ^^^^" 
by declaring that James had abdicated the throne, and The Bill 
that William and Mary were now joint sovereigns of °|^^^^8^^* 
England, Ireland, and the Dominions thereunto belong- ultimate 
ing. After their death the Crown was to go to the transferring 
descendants of Mary, or, failing such descendants, to of external 
th«e of James', ieond d.o|hter, Anne, who .« £^. 
married to Prince George of Denmark. Papists, King to 

" "*■ ministers 

or persons marrying Papists, were for ever excluded responsible 
from the succession. * It hath been found by experi- Eiigiisii 
ence,' so ran one of the articles, ' that it is inconsistent n*^|[*^" 
with the safety and welfare of this Protestant Kingdom, 
to be governed by a Popish Prince or by any King 
or Queen marrying a Papist.' ^ In a document which 
aimed a deadly, blow at the doctrine of divine right, 
this frank appeal to experience deserves to be noted. 
Occasion was also taken in this statute to codify 

* Bill of Rights, sec. ix. 


CHAP, certain principles now recognized as essential to the 
constitution, such as the exclusive control of Parlia- 
ment over legislation and supply. In one respect, 
however, the Bill of Bights went further, for up to 
the Revolution 'an express law declared the whole 
power of the militia, and immemorial custom admitted 
the general control of the army, to lie solely with 
the King/^ The Bill of Rights now abrogated 
custom and law by enacting 'that the raising or 
keeping a standing army within the Kingdome in 
time of peace, unless it be with consent of Parlyament, 
is against the law.'^ As a standing army was 
essential to the safety of the kingdom, this meant 
that its existence in future depended on the sanction 
of Parliament, a sanction since maintained by pass- 
ing the Army Annual Act for one year only. The 
control of defence is inseparable from the control of 
foreign policy. It is not a separate function, but 
merely one aspect of the primary function of govern- 
ment, that of controlling the issues of national life 
and death. Parliament, by securing the control of 
the forces, had secured the power of paralysing the 
foreign policy of the King. And this in fact was 
what it did. The King, taught by his supreme 
responsibility for the safety of the State, saw that 
the maintenance of English liberties depended upon 
checking the steadily increasing power of France. 
Parliament and the nation, not feeling that re- 
sponsibility, were blind to the danger, and denied 
William the troops necessary to support his policy. 
William now hit upon the device of choosing his 
ministers only from the leaders of the largest party 
in the House of Commons. He himself was in some 
measure able to dominate his ministers ; but his less 
forceful successors rapidly drifted into the position 

* Temi»erley, Cambridge Modem History^ vol. v. p. 252. 
' Bill of Rights, sec. i. 



of accepting the policy of whatever leaders could for chap. 
the time being undertake to control Parliament. ^^,.,,^^.„^^ 
The final control of external as well as of other 
executive business thus passed (though in the case of 
foreign affairs rather more gradually than in the case 
of domestic aflfairs) from the King to leaders whom 
Parliament could change just as the electorate could 
change Parliament itself. Henceforward candidates 
began to appeal to their constituents on the ground 
that if elected they would support a particular leader 
identified with a particular policy. Ministers, members, 
and electors began to realize that the responsibilities of 
national life or death now rested on themselves, and 
therefore began to develop some understanding of 
the issues for which they were responsible. Thus in 
England during the period under review, the Crown, 
having lost already the power of making the law, was 
now. fast losing the power of administering it. Parlia- 
ment through its leaders was acquiring an undisputed 
control over foreign as well as over domestic policy. 

More rapidly, because more consciously, the The 
Scottish Parliament was advancing the same claim paru^ent 
for itself. When James II. fled, it brushed aside the ?°^ "i°^® 

' importu- 

pretence put forward in the English Bill of Eights natethan 

that James had abdicated the throne, and frankly English 

asserted its right to uncrown a king who had violated |^*J[^erting 

the laws which ParHament had made. In other ^^. ^ 

claun to 

respects the measure which it passed coincided with control the 
the Bill of Rights. For the moment, indeed, the two ^^^^^ ^^^' 
kingdoms were animated by the common and over- 
mastering desire to rid themselves for ever of 
sovereigns who acknowledged the supremacy of Rome. 
The next act of the Scottish Parliament, however, 
was to secure William's assent to the abolition of 
the practice of delegating business to a committee 
which was practically beyond its control, and once 
for all the Lords of the Articles were abolished, ' At 


CHAP, one bound the Estates adopted the conetitutioDal 

.__^_.^__, prineiples for which English ParliamentB had fonght 

since the fourteeDth centiuy. The Scottish constitn- 

tionaliBm of the reign of William of Oiange was the 

gif^ of England ; it had bat small roote in the past 

of a country where freedom' had not broadened from 

percedent to precedent. The Scottish Parliament 

bad plajed an insignificant part in the making of 

the nation, but the mere existence of parliamentary 

institutions is always potentially a menace to any 

Government nOt founded on the will of the people. 

If the Estates had not fought for power it was 

equally true that they had never been beaten, and 

they could reasonably argue that what they had not 

dared to oppose had depended upon their sanction 

and concurrence. If constitutionalism was young, 

it was ako vigorous, and the Scottish Convention 

went beyond the English in its assumption of 

complete and uncontrolled power.' ' 

T)>c im- Id both kingdoms the principle was now established 

l^'diTidi4 t'bat the succession to the throne was based on laws 

t^^i^tV- 'fbich, like all others, could be changed only by the 

mentathB ^jj] q£ (Jie pcoplc themsclvcs. And, as in the 

control of . ,  , i . . , 

the policy American colonies, the claim to control the executive 

toSra was urged more importunately in the younger 

Ind^y assembly than in the older one. But history had 

offireat conclusively proved that the two peoples were now 

inseparably connected by common interests. Of 

lese the fiist and greatest was the maintenance of 

le pctx Britannica in its strictest sense, — the interest 

I both in avoiding a war with each other. Plainly 

ich a struggle must expose Britain to the growing 

3wer of France, which would be used to force upon it 

dynasty to whose religious and political principles 

le majority in both commonwealths were averse. 

enturies of experience had proved that under 

' Eait, Scotland, pp. 278-7. 


separate Governments war between Scotland and chap. 

England could not long be avoided. As against ^ 

Europe, moreover, and in the interests of the system 
for which the entire island now stood, there was 
room for only one policy. But if there were two 
Governments independent of each other, by whom 
was that policy to be controlled ? To entrust it to 
their common King was to remove it from the control 
of either Parliament. To leave it to the larger of the 
two Parliaments was to tempt the stronger to neglect 
the interests of the weaker. Unschooled by responsi- . 
bility, the vassal state would in any case believe that 
its interests were neglected. Vassalhood, more- 
over, would deprive it of the experience and contact 
with vital facts which alone enabled the people of 
a commonwealth to face the sacrifices required of 
citizens in the interests of the State. 

For more than a century, from the Eeformation Ruin of 
to the Revolution, Scotland had been preoccupied trade^and 
with religious aflFairs. Under the influence of James f^'J^^eriah 
I. and VI. attempts at colonization had been made ment 
which were not without subsequent importance, on the 
Nova Scotia, where one such attempt had been made SJe^crow 
in 1621, was practically abandoned to the French by 
Charles I. in 1632. Of greater importance was the 
settlement of Scots afi'ected by James in Ulster, 
Donegal, Tyrone, and Fermanagh, which was destined 
to leave an indelible mark alike on Irish and American 
history. But the nation at this period was too intent 
upon religious issues, and too much weakened by the 
struggles they produced, to attend as closely as its 
Southern neighbour to far-reaching projects of industry 
or commerce. In England, throughout this period, 
the subtle influence of the continents opened by 
Henry the Navigator was rapidly afi'ecting the 
economic condition of the people, and modifying the 
whole course of national policy. The vigorous policy 



CHAP, of Cromwell strengthened the hands of the great 
^^^^^.^^^^^^ East India Company, and a further impetus was 
given to its trade when Charles II. renewed its 
charter. In twenty-three years the annual value of 
imports from Bengal alone increased from £8000 
to £300,000, and shares worth £70 in 1664 had risen 
to £300 in 1681.^ Except during the brief period 
when Cromwell united the two countries, the Scots 
were excluded by the navigation laws from the 
lucrative trade with America, and by the monopoly 
of the East India Company from sharing the wealth 
which flowed from Asia.^ James I. had failed to 
secure the assent of the English Parliament to a 
treaty establishing free trade with Scotland in all 
articles except wool, cattle, hides, and linen yam, 
though by an unconstitutional exercise of the Royal 
prerogative the boon was granted ' till it was cancelled 
1650. by Parliament in 1650. Free trade between the two 
countries, however, was re-established by Cromwell's 
Union, but withdrawn once more when the Scots at 
the Restoration reasserted their right to a separate 
Parliament, which, failing to secure a zoUverein, 
retaliated by passing navigation laws of its own.* 
Further negotiation in 1668 and 1685 was abortive. 
The reduction of her ancient commerce with France 
and the Netherlands after the union of the Crowns, 
and the disorders of the seventeenth century had 
combined with the absorption of her national energy 
in religious affairs to reduce Scotland to the depths 
of poverty. * A report on the Scottish Burghs, drawn 
up in 1692, shows that in Glasgow " near five hundred 
houses were standing waste," that the Harbour of 
Ayr was ruinous, and that the High Street of 

^ Mathieson, Scotland and the Union, 1695-1747, p. 26. 
^ See Note B at end of this chapter, p. 800. 

3 Mathieson, Scotland amd the Union, 1696-1747, p. 21. See also Keith, 
Commercial ItelcUions of England a7id Scotland, 1603-1707, p. 17. 

* Keith, Commercial Relations of Ejigland and Scotland, 1603-1707, p. 90. 


Dumfries contained scarcely a habitable house/ ^ .chap. 
* The poverty, the abject misery of the country, was 
such that every bad season produced a literal famine. 
In 1698 and the three preceding years the harvests 
were very bad, and Fletcher of Saltoun — one of the 
greatest intellects and one of the most ardent patriots 
of Scotland — wrote a discourse on the state of the 
nation which throws a vivid light on the material 
wretchedness and the moral anarchy that prevailed. 
" Many thousands of our people," he said, " are at this 
day dying for want of bread. . . . Though perhaps 
upon the great want of bread, occasioned by the 
continued bad seafions of this and the three preceding 
years, the evil be greater and more pressing than at 
any time in our days, yet there have always been in 
Scotland such numbers of poor, as by no regulations 
could ever be orderly provided for ; and this country 
has always swarmed with such numbers of idle 
vagabonds as no laws could ever restrain." " There 
are at this day," he adds, ^^in Scotland (besides a 
great many poor families very meanly provided for 
by the church-boxes, with others, who by living upon 
bad food fall into various diseases) two hundred 
thousand people begging from door to door." ' ^ 

It was at. this juncture that the 'Revolution took Effect 
place, and that the Crown of Scotland was offered ^voiu- 
by its Parliament to William and accepted by him Vp° ^i? 

J - r J diverting 

on condition that ?the Presbyterian Church should the 
be established in Scotland. The struggle with of Scotland 
Episcopacy as well as with Papacy was thus closed ^i^on to 
by the Revolution, and, suddenly released from 551^^5®^^^;^ 
religious controversies, the nation found itself free scheme. 
to think of mundane affairs. ' By an unforeseen and 
unexpected change of the genius of this nation, all 

1 Rait, Scotlandy p. 282. 

^ Locky, History of England in the Eighteenth Century ^ voL ii. pp. 178-9, 
quoting Fletcher, Political Works, pp. 122-3, 144. 


CHAP, their thoughtjs and inclinations . . . seem to be 
^^^^^^^^ turned upon trade.' ^ In matters of business as well 
as in matters of State, the history of Scotland had 
been one of arrested development. Hoping to equal 
at one stroke the commercial as well as the con- 
stitutional achievements of the English, the Scots 
hastened to stake their slender resources on a single 
venture, which, as they believed, would enable them 
to share in the wealth now pouring into England 
across the seas. The scheme itself cannot be under- 
stood without some notice of the personalities and 
interests of which it was the joint product. Of 
these personalities the most important was William 
Paterson, son of a Lowland farmer, who, having 
tried his fortune as a pedlar in England, migrated to 
the West Indies. There he made the acquaintance 
of certain pirates who knew the track first opened 
by Balboa across the Isthmus of Darien and * re- 
counted with transport the ease with which they 
had passed and repassed from the one sea to the 
other, sometimes in hundreds together, and driving 
strings of mules before them loaded with the plunder 
1694. of friends and foes.'^ Returning to England, he 
proved his aptitude for practical affairs by founding 
the Bank of England, and while doing so must have 
realized how vast were the profits which the English 
East India Company derived from their trade with 
the East. His next project wa^ one which, had it 
been realized, would have destroyed the monopoly 
of the English Company. This was to connect 
Europe with Asia by planting an international colony 
whose business it would be to open and maintain a 
route across the Isthmus of Darien. Avoiding the long 
and dangerous voyages by the Horn or the Cape of 

' Fletcher, Political fVorks, p. 82, * First Discourse concerning the Affairs 
of Scotland.' 

* Scott, Tales of a Ora/ndfaiher^ vol. iv. p. 28, quoting Daliymple, History^ 
vol. ii. p. 90. 


Good Hope, the wealth of the East was to be shipped chap, 
across the Pacific, transported across the Isthmus by 
the colony and reshipped across the Atlantic to 
Europe. 'The isthmus of Darien or Panama was, 
in his estimation, the '' door of the seas and the key 
of the universe " ; a Scottish colony planted on this 
neck of land would draw to itself the commerce of 
both the Atlantic and the Pacific ; wafted by the 
trade winds, and transferred in a single day's journey 
from sea to sea, the commodities of Europe, America, 
and the West Indies would be exchanged here for 
those of the East Indies, China, and Japan ; and " the 
universal force and influence of this attractive 
magnet" would "enable its proprietors to give laws 
to both oceans, and to become arbitrators of the 
commercial world, without being liable to the fatigues, 
expenses, and dangers, or contracting the guilt and 
blood of Alexander and G»sar." ' ^ In principle he 
had anticipated the vast enterprise which the United 
States is just carrying to its completion in the 
Panama Canal. To render it more attractive, how- 
ever, huge projects of settlement in South America 
were grafted on to it, and Paterson, who seems to have 
dreamed of floating his scheme on an international 
basis, proposed it to * the merchants of Hamburgh, to 
the Dutch, and even to the Elector of Brandenburgh ; 
but it was coldly received by all these states. The 
scheme was at length ofiered to the merchants of 
London, the only traders probably in the world 
who, their great wealth being seconded by the 
protection of the British navy, had the means of 
realizing the splendid visions of Paterson. But 
when the projector was in London, endeavouring to 
solicit attention to his plan, he became intimate with 
the celebrated Fletcher of Saltoun. This gentleman, 
one of the most accomplished men, and best patriots, 

^ Mftthieson, Scotland and the Unian, 1696-1747, pp. 36-7. 



• CHAP. 

' Act for a 
tradeing to 
and the 
by the 

whom Scotland has produced in any age, had, never- 
theless, some notions of her interests which were 
more fanciful than real, and, in his anxiety to render 
his country service, did not sufficiently consider the 
adequacy of the means by which her welfare was to 
be obtained. He was dazzled by the vision of 
opulence and grandeur which Paterson unfolded, 
and thought of nothing less than securing, for the 
benefit of Scotland alone, a scheme which promised 
to the State which should adopt it the keys, as it 
were, of the New World. The projector was easily 
persuaded to give his own country the benefit of his 
scheme of colonization, and went to Scotland along with 
Fletcher. Here the plan found general acceptation, 
and particularly with the Scottish administration.' ^ 

The measure now contemplated by the Scottish 
administration was designed to open to Scotland the 
trade of the West as well as of the East and of the 
countries which lay upon the road thither. Under 
its terms a Scottish company was to be empowered 
'to trade with Asia, Africa, and America; to plant 
colonies in places not already possessed by any 
European power ; to defend their trade and colonies 
" by force of Arms " ; to make reprisals for any damage 
done them ; to conclude treaties with foreign powers ; 
and to have all rights of government and admiralty in 
their colonies. All their ships and goods were to be 
free from customs and duties for twenty-one years. 
The Scots Navigation Act of 1661 was suspended in 
their favour, and they were granted a monopoly of 
trade to Afirica, America, and the Indies, " excepting 
and without any prejudice to any of the Subjects of 
this Kingdom to trade and navigat ... to any part 
of America where the CoUonies plantations or posses- 
sions of the said Company shall not be setled," that 
is, of course, reserving the Scots trade to the English 

* Scott, Tales of a Orandfaiher^ vol. iv. pp. 28-9. 


Plantations. Lastly, His Majesty promised to inter- chap. 
pose his authority to have restitution made for any ^^^ 
harm done to the company. This Act was clearly 
the work of an independent Scots Parliament. In 
pre - Revolution days, when Court influence was 
supreme, through the Lords of the Articles, such an 
Act could not have been passed. The oflBcial who 
now represented the Court, Tweeddale, Lord High 
Commissioner, obviously went beyond his instruc- 
tions. Burnet says that the King " drew an instruc- 
tion impowering the commissioner to pass a bill 
promising letters patent for encouraging of trade, yet 
limited, so that it should not interfere with the trade 
of England.: when they went down to Scotland, the 
king's commissioner either did not consider this, or 
had no regard to it ; for he gave the royal assent to 
an act, that gave the undertakers either of the East 
India or West India trade, all possible privileges." ' ^ 
The Scottish Parliament had, indeed, claimed the 
right to confer privileges such as would enable any 
one who chose to trade from Scotland to evade the 
system by which for a century England had sought 
to regulate her own trade with the East and West.^ 

Paterson, though persuaded by Fletcher to Hostility 
nationalize his project, realized, as Fletcher did not, me^ha^te 
that- Scotland was unable to finance it.* He turned, ^^"fj|^^ 
therefore, to English financiers for support, and for Company. 
reasons which must now be explained he had cause proposal 
to think that he would not look for it in vain. As ^e ' 
noted in Chapter III.* the English East India ^^^^^^^ 

IT -I t .Pi , company. 

Company had created and maintamed at their own 
charge the conditions necessary for trade with India, 

^ Keith, CommercicU Belaiians of England and ScoUavd, 1603-1707, pp. 
167, 168, quoting Burnet, History ofhia own Times, vol. iv. p. 277. 

' See Note B at end of this chapter, p. 301. 

' Keith, CommerdcUlielations of England and Scotland, 160S-1707, p. 169. 

* See above, pp. 148-50. Also Hunter, History of British India, vol. ii. 
pp. 322-8. 




on the part 
of Enelish 
East India 

In the closing decades of the seventeenth century 
interlopers in ever-increasing numbers were tempted 
by the growing value of the trade to ignore the mon- 
opoly. When the Company tried to repress them 
they attacked it on the ground that such privileges 
as the Company claimed could not be conferred by 
the King but by Parliament only, thus opening an 
important phase in the struggle of Parliament to 
control the prerogative. Some of the interlopers 
formed a new company which competed with the old ^ 
one for parliamentary powers. The struggle which 
raged in and out of Parliament in the last decade of 
the seventeenth century was closed in 1702 by the 
voluntary union of the two companies. Meantime, 
however, there were others in London who aspired to 
share in the Eastern trade, and thought that the 
English Company's monopoly might be attacked 
more successfully from Scotland than England. 
Paterson got into touch with them, and they under- 
took to find £300,000. A further £200,000 was 
to be raised in Hamburg and Amsterdam. The 
remainder was to be found in Scotland itself. 
* Almost every one who had, or could command, any 
sum of ready money embarked it in the Indian and 
African Company ; many subscribed their all ; maidens 
threw in their portions, and widows whatever sums 
they could raise upon their dower, to be repaid an 
hundredfold by the golden shower which was to 
descend upon the subscribers. Some sold estates to 
vest the money in the Company's funds, and so eager 
was the spirit of speculation, that, when eight hundred 
thousand pounds formed the whole circulating capital 
of Scotland, half of that sum was vested in the 
Darien stock.' ^ 

It was hardly to be expected that the directors of 
the English East India Company should watch with- 

* Scott.) TaUs of a Orand/ather, vol. iv. p. 31. 



out concern the products of the East pouring into chap. 
Scotland duty frecy to be smuggled thence into 
England duty free again, for every one knew that a 
large proportion of the dutiable articles which reached 
England evaded the vigilance of the customs authori- 
ties. Scotland, moreover, too poor to protect her own 
sea-borne * commerce, depended upon the protection 
of the English fleets. The English East India Com- 
pany now realizing that their position was at stake, 
moved their Parliament to address the King. William 
replied that * the King had been ill served in Scotland, 
but hoped some remedies might still be found to 
prevent the evils apprehended,' and dismissed Tweed- 
dale from office. Parliament, moreover, by threat- 
ening the English subscribers with impeachment, 
compelled them to .withdraw their support, and 
diplomatic pressure was successfully applied to the 
same purpose in Hamburg and Holland. 

A demand for separate ambassadors accountable Fletcher's 
to Scotland alone was the immediate result. * His fo^p™*" 
majesty's ministers abroad,' said Fletcher in the ^mbawa- 
Scottish Parliament, ' paid by the Crown of England, dor. 
are no longer to be looked upon as ministers for the 
Crown of Scotland. Since we are separate kingdoms, 
and have separate ministers at home, we ought to 
have separate ministers abroad ; especially in an affair 
wherein we niay have a separate interest from Eng- 
land, which must always be in matters of trade. . . . 
Neither ought we to have separate ministers only 
upon the account of trade, but upon all occasions,' 
wherein the honour or interest of the nation is con- 
cerned. That we have not had them formerly, since 
we were under one king with England, was, I suppose, 
to save charges, and because we trusted to the imparti- 
ality of such as we judged to be the ministers of 
the King of Great Britain. ' ^ 

^ Fletcher. Political Works, p. 86, ' First Discourse on tlie Affairs of Scotland.' 


CHAP. Fletcher's speech shows how easily a people, 

^^.^^^^^^ situated as the Scots then were, drift without knowing 
Failure it into supposing that they can enjoy membership 
M)on8iWe ^ *wo statcs and continue indefinitely to reap the 
Govern- benefits of both. The Scottish ministers were to 

ment to 

proportion treat the interests of the Scottish State not merely 
encU. as separate from those of England, but a^ opposed 
to them. And yet, when that treatment brought 
Scotland into collision with foreign powers, the 
English ministers were to treat Scotland as an integral 
and inseparable portion of the State of Great Britain. 
It is not children only, but men put in the position 
of children, that fall into thinking that they can eat 
their cake and also keep it. Never having been 
called upon to handle foreign affairs, Fletcher and the 
Scottish Parliament, like Grattan and the Irish 
Parliament a century later, were adrift of the realities 
which underlay them. But an ordinary sense of 
humour might have saved Fletcher from the suggestion 
that * It will be also fit, that the company petition 
the parliament to address his majesty, that the three 
small frigats, lately built at the expence of this 
nation, may be appointed for a convoy to the next 
ships they shall send out.'^ Fletcher's view was, 
however, adopted by the Scottish Parliament. In 
the Act to authorize the incorporation of com- 
panies for foreign trade they provided that if traders 
' happened to be attacked and violently seized and 
otherwise disturbed by persons not in open war with 
Their Majesties, that then and in that case Their 
Majesties would be pleased to order that the recovery 
of the ships and goods so seized or otherwise molested 
and hindered be carried on and prosecuted by publick 
means and at publick expense.' But the only means 
with which the Scottish Parliament had furnished the 

1 Fletcher, Political Works, ]p^. 88-9, 'First Discourse on the Affairs of 


King for the purpose were the three frigates, ' which/ chap. 
as Hodges said to them, ' for pinching their charges 
you have laid up to rot.' If the King were indeed 
to protect the Darien argosies it could only be with 
fleets maintained by the very English commerce 
which, as Englishmen believed, the Darien scheme was 
intended to divert. The truth was that Scotland, 
without realizing the fact, had lived under the pro- 
tection of English fleets and had learned to depend 
on it. But three years before, the Scottish ministers i695. 
had applied to those of England for protection against 
the corsair states of Barbary, and the English admiral 
in the Mediterranean had been instructed to protect 
their ships. The English Government had granted to 
Scottish merchants the convoys for which they 
applied, and it was not unnatural that both English 
Houses should protest against a measure which ' did 
seem to engage the shipping and strength at sea 
of this nation to the great detriment even of this 

The Darien scheme was not merely one which Pianution 
needed adequate protection from aggressors, but was Scottish 
in itself an act of aggression. If there was any place s?^"^^^" 
in the New World which Spain might claim as her territory. 
own by right of discovery, that place was the Isthmus settiere 
of Darien.*" The route across it was first tracked in by^p^in. 
1513 by Balboa, who had claimed for Spain not only ^gjg 
the land but the seas beyond it.^ It was athwart 
this very route that the Scottish Parliament now 
proceeded to plant a colony of their own, at a 
moment when the impending struggle with France 
made it of vital importance for England to remain 
on friendly terms with Spain. On the 26th July 
1698, the first expedition sailed from Leith Eoads^ i698. 
disembarked at the Bay of Ada, and founded a town 

^ See Kote at end of this chapter, p. 302. 
^ See above, p. 133. 


CHAP, which was called New Edinburgh. Tropical disease, 
^ however, want of capital, and the consequent failure 
of supplies quickly began to work their ruin. 
Jamaica, the Barbadoes, and the American colonies 
had been warned by the English executive to give 
them no relief, and the settlement was abandoned. 
The vacant site, however, was occupied by a second 
and third contingent until they were forcibly ejected 
by the Spaniards. Some of the Scottish adventurers 
languished in Spanish prisons in danger of execution 
as pirates until they were released on the intervention 
of the English ambassador. 
Resent- Scotland was reduced to the verge of bankruptcy,^ 
^ti^l and the feelings provoked by the failure of the enter- 
Pariia- pnse wcrc voiced on the meeting of the Scottish 

ment. ^ ^ o ^ 

Parliament. ' It must still be fresh in every man s 
memory, that insults were made upon the sovereignty 
and independence of this nation, in the matter of 
their late trading company, both before their settle- 
ment in Darien by the legal actings of the Scots 
Parliament, and by the scandalous memorials given 
in by the English resident at Hamburgh, most falsely 
representing the Scots company as private persons, 
having no authority ; as also, by the said resident's 
using threatening denunciations and expressions 
against the Hamburghers, if they should enter into 
any trading society with them ; and likewise, after 
that company was settled in Darien, by their most 
barbarous and inhuman execution of some proclama- 
tions issued out against them. That whether these 
most injurious stretches were calculated really for the 
sake of an interest altogether foreign to this island, 
it was not proper here to dispute ; but that it was 
certain, that this had raised an insuperable jealousy 

^ Under the terms of the union of 1707 the shareholders got back their 
capital and 5 per cent up to date (Keith, Commercial Relations of England 
aTui Scotland 1603-1707, p. 197). 


in the Scots nation, which could not fail sometime or chap. 
other, to break forth into consequences dangerous to ^^^^^^^.^^ 
both nations. And, therefore, he concurred with 
those noble and worthy members in promoting the 
overture, from which he should expect, that some 
laws should be enacted towards regulating the 
administration and government at home, as might 
deliver a Scots prince and ministry from foreign 
influence, and might thereby ccjmpose those hurtful 
jealousies, in all times coming, to the mutual peace 
and quiet of the whole island/ ^ 

The Scottish Parliament now determined to assert Scottish 
its own independence of England in the conduct of fndJa™ura 
foreign affairs. Scarcely had William died and Anne ^^ ?^*'® 
come to the throne when war broke out with France, control of 
Next year the Scottish Parliament passed a Bill* affaiS? 
repudiating the prohibition against the importation of 
French wines into the country, and refused even to 
accept an amendment providing that * No Scots ship 
should trade direct with France now in time of war.' 

At the instance of Fletcher, Parliament then Fletcher's 
turned to the discussion of a series of measures ^'"'P*^^ *• 
designed to transfer the entire control of the execu- 
tive from the Crown to itself. Queen Anne's policy 
was now largely determined by the advice of 
her English ministers. So long, therefore, as the 
Scottish ministers held office at the Queen's 
pleasure, their action must be controlled rather by 
the wishes of the English Ministry than by those of 
the Scottish Parliament. In a Bill which he intro- 
duced, Fletcher proposed to remedy this defect by 
'limiting' the prerogative. The following extracts 
show, however, that he proposed not merely to 
' limit ' but actually to abolish the whole prerogative 
of the Crown. * These are the ends to which all the 

' speech of Member of Soottiah ParUament, May 26, 1708. 
' It is fair to note that Fletcher opposed this measure. 


CHAP, limitations B,i;e directed, that English councils may 
^ not hinder the acts of our parliaments from receiving 
the royal assent ; that we may not be ingaged without 
our consent in the quarrels they may have with other 
nations ; that they may not obstruct the meeting of 
our parliaments, nor interrupt their sitting ; that we 
may not stand in need of posting to London for 
places and pensions, by which, whatever particular 
men may get, the nation must always be a loser, nor 
apply for the remedies of our grievances to a court, 
where for the most part none are to be had. On the 
contrary, if these conditions of government be enacted, 
our constitution will be amended, and our grievances 
be easily redressed by a due execution of our own 
laws, which to this day we have never been able to 
obtain/ ^ * This limitation will secure to us our 
freedom and independence. It has been often said 
in this house, that our princes are captives in 
England ; and indeed one would not wonder if, when 
our interest happens to be different from that of 
England, our kings, who must be supported by the 
riches and power of that nation in all their under- 
takings, should prefer an English interest before that 
of this country. 'Tis yet less strange, that English 
ministers should advise and procure the advancement 
of such persons to ^the ministry of Scotland, as will 
comply with their measures and the King's orders ; 
and to surmount the difficulties they may meet with 
from a true Scots interest, that places and pensions 
should be bestowed upon parliament-men and others : 
I say, these things are so far from wonder, that they 
are inevitable in the present state of our affairs. But 
I hope they likewise shew us, that we ought not to 
continue any longer in this condition. Now this 
limitation is advantageous to all. The prince will 

^ Fletcher, Political Works, pp. 290-1. Speech by a Member of Parlia- 
ment, 1708. 


no more be put upon the hardship of deciding between chap. 
an English and a Scots interest; or the difficulty s^^,,,,,^^ 
of reconciling what he owes to each nation, in con- 
sequence of his coronation oath. Even English 
ministers will no longer lie under the temptation of 
meddling in Scots affairs : nor the ministers of this 
kingdom, together with all those who have places 
and pensions, be any more subject to the worst of 
all slavery. But if the influences I mentioned before 
shall still continue, what will any other limitation 
avail us ? What shall we be the better for our act 
concerning the power of war and peace ; since by the 
force of an English interest and influence, we cannot 
fail of being engaged in every war, and neglected in 
every peace ? ' ^ 

By a stroke of the pen his proposals would have Measures 
placed the executive under the immediate and ^rl^d? 
absolute control of the Scottish Parliament. They 
were never actually carried ; but two instalments were 
placed on the statute-book which, unless the Union 
had been accomplished, would have made it necessary 
to carry them all. The first wfts an ' Act of Peace 
and War ' declaring that ' No person being King of 
Scotland and England shall have power of making 
war . . . without consent of Parliament, and that no 
declaration of war without consent aforesaid shall be 
binding on the subjects of his kingdom.' The second 
was a measure providing that ambassadors repre- 
senting Scotland and accountable to the Parliament 
of Scotland should be present whenever the King 
had occasion to treat with foreign princes or states. 

With his separate parliaments, executives, and Proposal 
ambassadors, competent to declare peace with the to serrate 
enemies of England, Fletcher now dropped the pre- of s^^-^^ 
tence that one titular sovereign could avail to unite land and 

o England. 

* Fletcher, Political Wtyrks^ pp. 342*4. Speech by a Member of Parlia- 
ment, 1708. 


CHAP, two commonwealths. ' No man in this house is more 
convinced of the great advantage of that peace which 
both nations enjoy by living under one prince. But 
as on the one hand, some men for private ends, and 
in order to get into offices, have either neglected or 
betrayed the interest of this nation, by a mean com- 
pliance with the English court ; so on the other side 
it cannot be denied, that we have been but indiffer- 
ently used by the English nation. I shall not insist 
upon the affair of Darien, in which by their means 
and influence chiefly, we suffered so great a loss both 
in men and money, as to put us almost beyond hope 
of ever having any considerable trade ; and this con- 
trary to their own true interest, which now appears 
but too visibly. I shall not go about to enumerate 
instances of a provoking nature in other matters, 
but keep myself precisely to the thing we are upon. 
The English nation did, some time past, take into 
consideration the nomination of a successor to that 
crown ; an affair of the highest importance, and one 
would think of common concernment to both 
kingdoms. Did they ever require our concurrence? 
Did they ever desire the late King to cause the 
parliament of Scotland to meet, in order to take 
our advice and consent? Was not this to tell us 
plainly, that we ought to be concluded by their 
determinations, and were not worthy to be con- 
sulted in the matter? Indeed, my lord Chancellor, 
considering their whole carriage in thiB affair, and 
the broad insinuations we have now heard, that 
we are not to expect her Majesty's assent to any 
limitations on a successor (which must proceed 
from English council) and considering we cannot 
propose to ourselves any other relief from that 
servitude we lie under by the influence of that court ; 
'tis my opinion, that the house come to a resolution, 
" That after the decease of her Majesty, heirs of her 


body failing, we will separate our crown from that chap. 
of England." ' ' ^ 

Fortune indeed had, at this juncture, placed a Act of 
powerful weapon in the hands of the Scottish Parlia- ^^a^^y 
ment. The joint settlement eflFected by both Parlia- ^^'^^t, 
ments at the Revolution had provided that the i/os, pi-o- 
descendants of Mary or Anne should succeed to separation 
the Crown. Mary left no children, and on the death on d^Tth* 
in 1700 of William, Duke of Gloucester, the only 'f^^^'' 
surviving son of the Princess Anne, the whole question failing 
of the succession was reopened. In 1701 the English b/^ng- 
Parliament passed the Act of Settlement fixing the ^ttlsh 
succession of the Crown of England and Ireland upon demands. 
Sophia, Electress and Duchess Dowager of Hanover, ^^^i- 
a grand-daughter of James I. , the senior descendant 
of that sovereign who happened to profess the Protes- 
tant religion. The Scottish Parliament, quick to per- 
ceive the advantage which the necessity for amending 
the Act of Succession had given them, declined to 
follow suit. In 1708, to the urgent demands of the 
English Ministry that the Crown of Great Britain 
should be settled on the Electress Sophia, they replied 
by passing an Act of Security which provided that 
at the death of Queen Anne the Scottish Parliament 
should meet and nominate a Protestant successor of 
the Royal line of Scotland, but not the same person 
as succeeded to the English throne, unless during Her 
Majesty's reign such conditions of government were 
settled ' as may Becure the honour and sovereignty of 
this Crown and Kingdom the freedom, frequency and 
power of Parliaments . . . the religion, liberty and 
trade of the nation from English or any foreign 

That the Scottish Parliament recognized that such Scottish 
an event meant war with England is evident from pi^ji^™*" 

for war 
1 Fletcher, Political Works, pp. 301-8. Speech by a Member of Parlia- with 
ment, 1703. England. 




forced by 
fear of 
to allow 
the Act 
of Security 
to become 


the fact that they also provided for arming the 
Protestant * fencible men of the Kingdom.' * If we 
are not rich enough/ said Fletcher, ' to pay a sufficient 
number of standing forces, we have at least this 
advantage, that arms in our own hands serve no less 
to maintain our liberty at home, than to defend us 
from enemies abroad. Other nations, if they think 
they can trust standing forces, may by their means 
defend themselves against foreign enemies. But we, 
who have not wealth sufficient to pay such forces, 
should not, of all nations under heaven, be unarmed. 
For us then to continue without arms, is to be directly 
in the condition of slaves : to be found unarmed in 
the event of her Majesty's death, would be to have 
no manner of security for our liberty, property, or 
the independence of this kingdom. By being un- 
armed, we every day run the risk of our all, since 
we know not how soon that event may overtake us : 
to continue still unarmed, when by this very act 
now under deliberation, we have put a case, which 
happening may separate us from England, would be 
the grossest of all follies. And if we do not provide 
for arming the kingdom in such an exigency, we 
shall become a jest and a proverb to the world.' ^ 
To this Bill the High Commissioner, acting on 
instructions from the English Government, refused 
the Royal assent. The Scottish Parliament, however, 
declined to grant supplies, thus leaving the Scottish 
forces unpaid. The news of Blenheim had not 
arrived, a French invasion was expected almost 
hourly, and Godolphin persuaded the English Govern- 
ment to yield. By touching the Bill with the sceptre 
the High Commissioner placed on the Scottish statute- 
book a measure which not merely provided for the 
separation of the two Crowns, but contemplated war 
between the two kingdoms. England could scarcely 

1 Fletcher, PolUical Works, pp. 308-9. 



allow matters to stand there unless she was prepared chap. 
to face a return to the days when France could 
always count upon dividing Britain against herself. 
In Scotland, as Lord Haversham said in the English 
House of Lords, * there will never be wanting all the 
promises and all the assistance France will give/ ^ 

The crisis was precipitated by an act of vengeance The 
on the part of the moribund Darien Company, which p^^.^ 
induced the Scottish Government to seize an English ™e°* , 

^ retaliates, 

East Indiaman in the Clyde. Convicted of piracy but opens 
on the evidence of a negro, the captain and several S^st; 
of the crew were hanged. The two nations were on "^^^^ 
the brink of war, but fortunately the English Parlia- 
ment kept its temper and contented itself with 
declaring that unless the Scottish Succession was 
settled by Christmas Day, 1705, Scotsmen were to 
be held as aliens and incapable of inheriting lands ; 
that no arms or horses were to be exported to Scotland, 
and that no Scottish cattle, linen, or coals were to 
be imported into England. The same Act, however, 
empowered the Queen to appoint commissioners to 
treat for union. The Scots 'had endeavoured to 
coerce the English into giving them commercial 
privileges. Now the English were putting pressure 
on the Scots to make them accept a complete union/ ^ 

What the Scottish Parliament desired was not Attempts 
union, but the opening of the English markets to J^ndie 
Scottish commerce, and freedom to trade with the f^f^^d- 
English colonies in America and with the Far East, ence 
all which they hoped to enjoy without any curtailment English 
of their own autonomy. These hopes were expressed °*''^'^®°**°'^- 
in an amendment moved by the Duke of Hamilton 
to the Act authorizing the appointment of Scottish 
Commissioners to negotiate with those from England, 
' That the union to be treated on should no ways 

^ Keith, CommerGicU Belations of England and Scotland, 1603-1707^ p. 191. 
• Ibid. p. 192. 



CHAP, derogate from any fundamental laws, ancient privileges, 
^ offices, rights, liberties, and dignities of the Scots 
Nation/ To the same effect was a resolution moved 
by the Marquis of Annandale in the following year, 
when the report of the Commissioners was considered 
by the Scottish Parliament. 'That we are willing 
to enter into such an Union with our neighbours of 
England, as shall unite us entirely, and after the 
most strict manner in all their and our interests or 
successions, wars, alliances, and trade, reserving to 
us the sovereignty and independency of the Crown 
and Monarchy, and the ancient privileges and im- 
munities of the kingdom, and the constitution and 
frame of the government both of church and state, 
as they stand now, established by our fundamental 
constitution, by our Claim of Right, and the laws 
foUowiDg thereupon.' As Daniel Defoe remarked : 
' " No incorporating union" -was the word — " Let us 
have an Union with England with all. our hearts ; 
but no incorporation — Let us keep our Parliament — 
keep our Sovereignty — keep our independency — keep 
our constitution, and for all the rest we are ready 
to unite with you, as firmly as you can devise." ' 
Such, indeed, was the nature of an arrangement 
advanced by the Scottish Commissioners under the 
name of a 'Foederal Union.' It is important, how- 
ever, not to be misled by terms. The plan proposed 
was in no sense a federal union, but merely a zoUverein 
or customs convention, which left untouched the 
vital question who was to control defence and foreign 
affairs. It was but one of many attempts to settle 
by contract between two states what in fact could 
only be settled by the creation of a single state 
claiming the unlimited obedience of the citizens in 
pro^^ai^ The difficulties were such as must recur every 
for solving time the necessity arises for extending the principle 



of the cominonwealth, and Fletcher in his writings chap. 
has left proposals for their solution which throw 
much light 'on the working of his mind. According 
to these proposals Europe was to be divided into ten 
provinces, and each province into ten or twelve 
sovereign republics modelled on the pattern of 
Greek city states. Those suggested for the British 
Isles were to centre round London, Bristol, Exeter, 
Chester, Norwich, York, Stirling, Inverness, Dublin, 
Cork, Galway, and Londonderry. Concord between 
these sovereign republics was to be secured in each 
province by a common prince, but how he was to 
secure it the author of the proposal failed to explain. 
He was not, however, the last to argue that one 
titular crown will suffice to maintain the unity of 
dominions whose separate sovereignty has been 
recognized as absolute and complete.^ 

That the Scottish Parliament included a mind statement 
more in touch with realities is shown by a speech from real ^ 
Seton of Pitmadden. * My Lord, I am sorry that in ^gj^^ 
place of things, we amuse ourselves with words ; for of 
my part, I comprehend no durable union betwixt 
Scotland and England, but that expressed in this 
Article by one kingdom, that is to say, one people, 
one civil government, and one interest. It is true, 
the words, Foederal Union, are become fashionable, 
and may be handsomely fitted to delude unthinking 
people ; but if any member of this House will give 
himself the trouble to examine what conditions or 
articles are understood by these words, and reduce 
them into any kind of foederal compacts, whereby 
distinct nations have been united, I will presume to 
say, these will be found to be impracticable, or of 
very little use to us. But to put that matter in a 
clear light, these queries ought to be duly examined. 

^ Fletcher, Political Works^ p. 448, ' Account of a Cou7ersation regarding 
a Bight Regalation of Government.' 


CHAP. . . . Whether there can be any sure guaranty 
projected for the observance of the articles of a 
foederal compact, stipulated betwixt two nations, 
whereof the one is much superior to the other in 
riches, numbers of people, and an extended com- 
merce ? Whether the advantages of a Foederal Union 
do balance its disadvantages ? Whether the English 
will accept a Foederal Union supposing it to be for 
the true interest of both nations? Whether any 
Foederal compact between Scotland and England is 
sufficient to secure the peace of this island, or fortify 
it against the intrigues and invasions of its foreign 
enemies ? And, whether England, in prudence ought 
to communicate its trade and protection to this nation, 
till both kingdoms are incorporated into one V ^ 
Fears for The Scottish OomtniBsiouers in fact asked for a 

of Scottish zollverein which would establish freedom of trade 
^am^^^^ between Scotland, England, and the colonies. The 
in the English Commissioners on their part were ready to 
subsequent couccdc thosc privileges, not, however, by way of 
events. treaty, as the Scots proposed, but only as the result 
of a union which would incorporate the Scots and 
English as citizens of one State. And that was the 
solution which Scotland was driven unwillingly to 
accept ; * I see the English Constitution remaining 
firm,' protested Lord Belhaven, * the same Houses of 
Parliament, the same taxes, the same customs, the 
same excises, the same trading companies, the same 
muilicipal laws and courts of judicature; and all 
ours either subject to regulations or annihilations, 
only we have the honour to pay their old debts, and 
to have some few persons present, for witnesses to 
the validity of the deed, when they are pleased to 
contract more.' The complaints of Belhaven had 
their justification in rash utterances such as those 
attributed by Fletcher to Sir Edward Seymour : 

^ speech by Seton of Pitmadden, November 1, 1706. 


* What a pother is here about an union with Scotland, chap. 
of which all the advantage we shall have, will be no 
more than what a man gets by marrying a beggar, a 
louse for her portion.'^ Such happily was not the 
general attitude of Englishmen towards the Scots. 
Beneath the antipathies which ruffled the surface was 
a sense of mutual affection and respect which made 
the prospect of an internecine war hateful to both 
alike. Common responsibility for the welfare of a 
common state was alone needed to develop the 
patriotism necessary to unite Scots with Englishmen 
in a single commonwealth. How little the event has 
justified the fears of Belhaven may be judged from the 
remarks of a modern American observer : * The Act of 
Union preserved the ecclesiastical and legal institutions 
of Scotland ; and at the present day she has her own 
established church, which is Presbyterian ; her own 
system of education, which is quite different from 
the English ; and her own system of law, based upon 
the Civil not the Common Law, and adorned by a 
nomenclature so disfigured as to pass for her own. 
With such differences as these it has been not un- 
common for Parliament, even where the same legis- 
lative principles were to be applied on both sides of 
the Tweed, to enact them in separate statutes, each 
adapted to the institutions of the country in which 
it is to operate. Socially, also, the fusion has not 
been complete. Every Scotchman is an Englishman, 
but an Englishman is not a Scotchman. The Scotch 
regard themselves as an elect race who are entitled to all 
the rights of Englishmen and to their own privileges 
besides. All English offices ought to be open to them, 
but Scotch posts are the natural heritage of the Scots. 
They take part freely in the debates on legislation 
affecting England alone, but in their opinion acts 

^ Fletcher, PolUical fForka, p. 411, 'Account of a Oonversation regarding 
a Right Regulation of Government' 


CHAP, confined to Scotland ought to be, and in fact they are 
^ in the main, governed by the opinion of the Scotch 
members. Such a condition is due partly to the fact 
that Scotch institutions and ideas are sufficiently 
distinct from those of England to require separate 
treatment, and not different enough to excite re- 
pugnance. It is due in part also to the fact that the 
Scotch are both a homogeneous and a practical 
people, so that all classes can unite in common 
opinions about religion, politics, and social justice/ ^ 
Effect of The real nature of the transaction is explained in 

in^creSbSg ^ few words by the greatest living authority on the 
ttotir British Constitution. * Though the fact is often 
overlooked, the Parliaments both of England and 
Scotland did, at the time of the Union, each transfer 
sovereign power to a new sovereign body, namely, 
the Parliament of Great Britain/ ^ In other words, a 
new state was created with a new sovereignty of its 
own : the two separate states with their two separate 
sovereignties vanished. The last act of the two 
sovereignties was to order their respective subjects to 
behave in future as citizens of a common state, an order 
which was obeyed, although to a large number it was 
unpalatable. Nothing but time was wanted to create 
the habit of obedience to the new Commonwealth, 
because that habit was fostered by the exercise of a 
responsibility imposed on the inhabitants of both 
kingdoms. There was not, as in Ireland, an over- 
whelming section of the population excluded from 
full participation in the life of the Commonwealth. 
The transaction, moreover, partook in no essential 
respect of the nature of a contract. The only parties 
between whom a contract could have been made were 
the two sovereignties, which the moment the trans- 
action was completed themselves vanished, and with 

^ Lowell, The Government of England^ vol. i. pp. 138-9. 
2 Dicey, The Law of the CkmstittUion, pp. 66-7. 


them a contractual condition which was merely chap. 
temporary. Henceforth the bond by which a Scot 
and Englishman were united was the claim made 
by a commonwealth, in which both were embraced, 
to the unlimited devotion of each. 

To none of the Commissioners, however, does it Why 
seem to have occurred that the continued existence in P^^^^^^^y 
Edinburgh and London of provincial executives and ^^^^^f^j^ 
legislatures, entrusted respectively with interests and 
which were strictly Scottish and strictly English, was Pariia- 
not incompatible with the policy of merging Scots ^tJJ^^^ate 
and Englishmen in a common state. The possibility }^^ ^^^ 
of distinguishing local from general interests had not the new 
as yet been realized. The truth is that statesmen w^ST^ 
of that era had far less experience to draw upon than ^^^^ 
those who have followed the establishment of the ^'*^??^ , 
American Republic. To the ministers of Queen Anne 
the only alternative to absolute separation was to 
centralize all government, local as well as imperial, at 
Westminster. The American method of preserving 
existing state governments as local organs of the 
wider state into which they were merged had yet to 
be placed on the political market by its discoverers. 
But the sovereign merit in the architects of this union 
was their uncompromising rejection of shams. As 
usual, there were not wanting Englishmen of the type 
of Growen and Seymour who comprehended so ill the 
principles for which their race stood as to think that 
Scotland could permanently be treated as a means to 
English ends. Across the border were the Fletchers 
and Belhavens, specimens of a no less constant type, 
who wanted to retain the essential condition of 
separation by a contract dignified by the name of a 
Foederal Union. Had either of these counsels pre- 
vailed, Scotland would have been linked to England by 
bonds similar to those which connected the confederate 
states with Athens. Upon either principle the two 




Commonwealths were to live apart, and a false union 
which purported to unite them without impairing 
the sovereignty of either would infallibly have ended 
in the domination of the weaker by the stronger, a 
domination which would have been exercised, as in 
Ireland, in part by corruption and in part by force. 
Judging from Ireland the results would so have em- 
bittered the relations of the two peoples as to have 
made the final achievement of union at a later date 
immeasurably harder. As it was, the citizens of both 
countries faced fiicts, and above all things faced them 
in time. The fears of Belhaven that the Scots would 
lose their national character have been plainly falsified 
by events. To a great extent they have dominated 
the polity in which they were merged. More than 
any other portion of Great Britain, Scotland has 
devoted to India and the great Dependencies the 
best of her sons, and has realized the sense of re- 
sponsibility to the races of the other continents, which 
alone has made possible the inclusion of so vast a 
number of them within the limits of the British 


See page 

in early 
a separate 
unit from 



When Scotland first came into touch with civilization it was, 
like the rest of Britain, inhabited by Celtic tribes. Boman 
and Saxon invaders in the dark ages alike failed to penetrate 
the Highlands, and till two centuries ago the tribal organization 
of society there remained intact The Saxons, however, like 
the Bomans, conquered the Lowlands, filling the South-East of 
Scotland as far as the Forth with a people who were largely 
Teutonic. The modem counties of Boxburgh, Berwick, 
Haddington, and Midlothian were indeed part of the English 
Kingdom of Northumbria in the age of the Heptarchy. About 
the time of the Saxon invasion there arrived from Ireland a 
tribe called the Scots, who settled in Argyllshire, and some 


centuries later the East coast^ North of the Forth, was colonized OHAP. 
by Norsemen. In the eighth and ninth centuries these two V 
races, together with the aboriginal population of the Highlands, ^-'•^v-^i^-^ 
both Pictish and Celtic, were united under the King of the 
Scots. Gradually they pushed their frontiers South till in 
1034 the Duncan, who figures in Shakespeare's tragedy of 
Macbethy became King of the whole mainland, North of the 
Tweed, which thereafter was recognized as the frontier between 
England and Scotland. In 1072 William of Normandy, having 
completed the conquest of England, invaded Scotland and 
exacted homage from the Scottish King, Malcolm Ganmore, 
without^ however, achieving an effective conquest of the 

Malcolm had married an English wife, Margaret, grand- Anglicizing 
daughter of Edmund Ironside, a descendant of Alfred the influence 
Greats who had fled from the Normans to seek the protection Mi^e^t 
of the Scottish King. Regarding herself as a missionary of in the 
English civilization, she devoted herself to anglicizing the eleventh 
Scots, an enterprise in which she was doubtless assisted by ^^"""7* 
those of her countrymen who were driven by the Normans 
across the border, and also by the growth of commerce between 
the Eastern ports of the two kingdoms. Although Scotland 
remained a separate kingdom, the English law, language, and 
religion began gradually to prevail over those of the Celt. 

To consolidate the inhabitants of Great Britain into one Incorpora- 
state was a natural ideal and one sure to commend itself to a ^|?° ^^, 
vigorous king who ruled the larger part of the island. The effective 
turbulent state of the Welsh Marches were a menace to order conauest 
in England itself, and led to the conquest of the Welsh tribes ^ ^^^ 
by Edward I. Wales remained a dependency of England o^^mon- 
tOl the time of Henry YIII., and was happier than Ireland wealth. 
in this, that the kings made the law there supreme as in 
England itself. In 1536 Welsh members were summoned to 
the English Parliament, so that, as the sovereignty passed from 
the King to Parliament, it passed to the Welsh as well as to the 
English people, and thereafter no separate constitutional question 
ever arose in respect of Wales. 

At first Edward I. set to work to incorporate Scotland by Failure of 
pacific means. His plan, cordially accepted by both countries, ^^"^ V^ 
was to unite the Crowns by marrying his infant son to the incoroorate 
Scottish Queen, a child of six, known as the Maid of Norway. Scotland. 
The scheme, however, was frustrated by her premature death, 
and from a number of rival claimants to the throne Edward 
selected John Balliol, who did homage to the English monarch 
for his crown. Balliol, however, intrigued with France and 
rebelled. Henceforward the feeling that Scotland might stab 
them in the back when struggling with France became the 




hostility of 

a danger 
to their 



in its origin 
a copy 
of the 

nightmare of English kings. Edward I. promptly dethroned 
Balliol, conquered Scotland as far North as Elgin, and then 
attempted to deal with it as he had dealt with Wales. In the 
place of a vassal king he now appointed his own viceroy, and 
Scottish representatives were summoned and sat in his 
parliaments at Westminster. One of them was Itobert the 
Bruce, who presently headed a revolt against Edward The 
great King died before he could crush him, leaving his son 
Edward II. to lead into Scotland the forces he had collected at 
Carlisle. The struggle continued till at Bannockbum Bruce 
defeated Edward II. and separated the Crowns of Scotland and 
England once more, a separation which was to continue for 
close on three centuries. 

Henceforward the two kingdoms were frequently at war, and 
the border between them was a scene of perpetual conflict. 
French influence was paramount North of the Tweed, and the 
Courts of Scotland and France were in constant alliance. The 
fear of conquest by any power but England never figured in the 
Scottish imagination, for no Continental monarch would have 
thought of invading Scotland, unless, like William of Normandy, 
he had mastered England first of alL To the Scots England 
was their only enemy, and they can scarcely have realized that 
English liberty was the bulwark of their own, or that if they 
helped to destroy it they would be establishing on their Southern 
frontier a foreign and much moi:je dangerous foe. 

The parliamentary union of the two kingdoms effected by 
Edward I. left, however, one important ti'ace on Scottish in- 
stitutions, which survived the predominant influence of France. 
The Great Council of Scotland had already been modelled upon 
that of England and was an assembly of tenants in chief, lay 
and clerical. As a member of the parliaments of Edward I., 
Robert the Bruce had seen English burgesses summoned to their 
councils, and as King of Scotland in 1326 he, like Edward, 
finding himself in need of money, summoned burgesses to a 
Scottish parliament at Cambuskenneth. A century later James 
I., a prisoner in England in the days of Lancastrian constitu- 
tionalism, tried on his return to Scotland to strengthen the 
popular element in Parliament as a counterpoise to the influence 
of the barons. To this end he enacted that the small barons 
and free tenantry, a class corresponding to the country gentle- 
men of England, need not attend in person, provided that they 
sent representatives. But it was not until 1587 that the 
country gentlemen were definitely forbidden to sit in person 
and ordered to send representatives. By then the representation 
of the burgesses was firmly established. Thus before the union 
of the Crowns the Scottish parliament consisted of lords 
temporal and spiritual, who appeared in person and sat in their 
own right because they were few enough to do so, and also of 


representatives of the coantry gentry and of the mercantile CHAP, 
interests in the towns. V 

Before the union of the Crowns in 1603, and indeed for ^— •-v-«»-^ 
some time after, the Scottish parliament was no more than a Failure 
faint reflection of its English original. Like the French g^^o^jg}^ 
parlemenis it sat to register rather than to make the law, and monarchy 
acquired no real sovereignty for the simple reason that there *? fi^tab- 
was none to acquire so long as the Lowland and Highland gupremacy 
communities adhered, the one to a feudal, the other to a tribal of law 
condition of society. The conditions of statehood were no prevented 
more realized in Scotland while under separate kings than in oft^rij^ 
England before the Norman Conquest. The Scottish monarchy mentary 
never finally mastered the barons and chiefs, and the King's institu- 
writ was never sure of running until James VI and his l^gj^^a!" 
successors succeeded to the English Grown and were able to 
employ the resources of the English Commonwealth to enforce the 
obedience of their Scottish subjects. ' " The greatest hindrance 
to the execution of our lawes in this countrie," wrote James VI., 
'*are these heritable Shiredomes and Eegalities, which being 
in the hands of the great men, do wracke the whole countrie." 
It was more easy to ordain frequent sessions of " the Chancellor 
and discreet persons," to forbid riding to the court "with 
multitudes of folkis na with armys," and to threaten 
the punishment of negligent sheriffs, than to carry out these 
schemes. The only guarantee for their receiving any obedience 
lay in the personal strength of the king.' ^ Till the Reformation 
the history of Scotland is a series of factious struggles between 
chiefs and nobles for the control of a monarchy in which 
the monarch himself was often no more than a pawn — to 
story-tellers like Scott, an inexhaustible mine, but to students of 
history as tedious as the battles described by Homer and 
Virgil, because success for the moment depended upon the 
prowess of individual leaders. Unlike England, Scotland 
failed to develop for herself an effective monarchy on which to 
found the supremacy of law. Where no true imperium existed 
there was none for the Scottish parliament to assume, and the 
first condition necessary for the development of a commonwealth 
was lacking. It is the abuse of sovereignty, not sovereignty 
itself, that is opposed to freedom. 

In these disordered conditions the nobles were able about How the 
1367 to establish a procedure which scotched the popular practice of 
element in Parliament and arrested the growth of its influence, to tl^ ^^^ 
Parliament itself only met at the opening and close of each Lords 
See page session. The actual transaction of business was delegated to a ^^ *^® 
^^' committee known as the Lords of the Articles, in the selection ar^ted 

of which the representative members had no voice. On the the growth 

^ Kait, T?ie Scottish Parliament^ pp. 79-80, quoting King Jaities VI., Scottish 
Basilikon Dor on ^ Book ii. Parlia- 



CHAP, last day of the session Parliament met to ratify or reject the 
^ measures framed by the Lords of the Articles. The procedure 
by which this body was appointed varied until the union of 
the Crowns, when it was finally settled in 1612 by James I. 
and VL, that the bishops should select certain lords and the 
lords certain bishops. The lords and bishops thus chosen were 
then to select suitable men from the popular representatiyes. 
Such a committee was the instrument, not of Parliament, but 
of the ruling faction of nobles when the King was weak, or of 
the Ring himself when he was strong. 



See page The following is an extract from the minutes of the Privy 

^^^' Council, relative to a proposal that the dissolution of the 

parliamentary union affected at the Restoration should not 

involve the exclusion of Scotland from trade with the English 

colonies. — 

Whitehall, 22 November: 1661. 

(The Committee to consider Scotland's position under the 
Navigation Act receive an unfavourable report from the Com- 
missioners of the Customs under four heads. No. 2 concerns 
the Plantation trade : — ) 

(2) They by this Liberty may trade to the Plantations which 
are absolutely English which will bring infinite losse to his 
Majestie and as much prejudice to the English Subject. 

Ist. They may carry, by this Admittance, all the Growth of 
these Plantations into fforraine parts, which must lessen his 
Majestys duties and by this they may carry away the English 
mens Estates, who haue propriety both in goods and Lands, by 
whose Cost and Industry they haue beene Planted, and who 
euery yeare looke for the retumes as well to Improue their 
Estates as pay their Debts, 

(21y) They may serue ail forraine Parts (as Germany, Holland 
&c : ), with the fruits of the English Labours and make Scotland 
the Magazine, and leaue this Nation to its home Consumption, 
and the King in his Duty, and the Merchant in his returnes fall 
short in their exspectation, and perhaps the Proprietor forct to 
goe into Scotland to looke his Estate. 

(Sly) If they should say that they would come for England, 
Ireland, or Wales &c : They can giue no secuiity either to the 
Gouernor there, or the Officers of the Customes here. Where 
they haue no Interest, they cannot be responsible, and their 
Bonds are worth little, if once gonn, and the forfeiture is little 


worth to his Majestie they being as forregners to this Nation, CHAP, 
being now vnder our lawes and Oouemment In fine the Planta- V 
tions are his Majestys Indies without Charge to him raysed and ^— v-*-^ 
supported by the English SubjectSi who Imploy aboue 200 
Sayle of Qood Sbipps euery yeare, breed abundance of Maryners, 
and begin to growe into Comodoties of great value and Esteeme, 
and though some of them continue in Tobacco, ^ett vpon the 
Betume hither it smells well and payes more Gustome to his 
Majestic then the East Indies foure times ouer, 

(And as it appears that an Act of Parliament would be 
necessary for granting such liberty to the Scots, the order of 
30 August in their favour is accordingly revoked, and they are 
referred to Parliament for redress.) ^ 

Similar objections were raised to the 'Act for a Company Seepage 
Trading to Affrica and the Indies ' passed by the Scottish parlia- ^^7* 
ment in 1693. 

' The matter was also considered in relation to the Plantation 
trade. Bandolph, government agent in the Colonies, wrote soon 
after the Act was passed, that the Scots, ''under pretence of 
Erecting an East India Company in y^ Kingdome ... do 
Engage themselves with Great Sums of money in an American 
Trade; a Trade which has already for Several Years been 
carried on by Scotchmen." He feared that they might make 
a settlement in some unappropriated spot near Pennsylvania, 
or in an island near the coast, which might become "a staple 
not only of all Sorts of European Manufactures, but also of 
the Enumerated Plantation Commodities." Like the East India 
Company, Randolph used the Scots project as a stalking 
horse for impressing on the government the necessity for those 
measures which he desired, the tightening up and stricter 
enforcement of the Navigation Acts, and the necessity of joining 
small proprietary colonies to the government of some province 
directly under His Majesty's authority. The Lords, influenced 
by the Customs Commissioners, also paid some attention to 
this aspect of the Scots Act. They ordered the Commissioners 
to attend the House, " to give an Account, whether as the Law 
now stands, there be a sufficient Power, in Carolina, Maryland, 
Pennsilvania and other Plantations where there are Proprietors 
to collect the Kihg's Duties there: and whether there be the 
same Security to prevent the Inconveniences that may arise to 
the Proprietors and Planters there, from the Act of Parliament 
in Scotland." These inquiries were followed by the "Act for 
preventing Frauds and Regulating Abuses in the Plantation 
Trade." Besides making the regulations more stringent, with 
a view to checking the existing Scottish trade, the Act took 
some precautions against a Scottish settlement being founded, 
by declaring that no land in the colonies was to be sold to 

^ Acts of the Privy Council (Colonial), 1661, voL i. pp. 818, 819, 820. 


CHAP, any but natives of England, Ireland, or the Plantations. The 
^ agitators against the Scots Act connected with the Plantation 
trade were therefore more successful than the traders to the 
East. Parliament considered the Plantation trade of greater 
importance to England than the Indian trade, as in America 
there was a better market for England's chief product, woollen 
cloth; and also the returns from the colonies were esteemed 
of more value than the goods which were brought from the East. 
They were therefore anxious both to stop the Scottish trade 
vrith the West, which already went on, and also to prevent the 
Scots from securing any land near the colonies, where they 
might establish a depdt for colonial goods, and from which, with 
the help of Dutch shipping, Europe might be supplied.' ^ 



Seepage Th^ commercial interests in England would have had no 
compunction whatever in seizing on Spanish territory if their 
government had been prepared to back them with its fleets, for 
on September 16th, 1698 the English Council of Trade passed 
a resolution Hhat the said country has never been possessed 
by the Spaniards and that England should instantly seize Golden 
Island and the part opposite to it on the Main to the exclusion 
of all Europeans . . . lest the Scotch Company be there before 
us, which is the utmost importance to English trade.' 

^ Keith, Commercial Relations oj England aTui" Scotland^ 1603-1707 ^ 
p. 173. 



How the idea grew up that a balance of mutual chap. 
interests would suflBce to maintain the connection 
between England on the one hand and Scotland and Results 
the colonies on the other, was explained in Chapter f^^^o 
IV., as well as the political and commercial system ^Wtera 
to which that idea led. The conditions, however, to i=w<^- 
which the system was applied were always changing ; 
the balance it was designed to maintain was for ever 
shifting. The system therefore had to be controlled, 
and, in the absence of any effective authority common 
to all the communities interested, the necessary 
control was exercised by the Englisk Parliament. 
Shut out from any share in the control, the Scottish 
people naturally believed that the system operated to 
stifle their industries and commerce. This belief was 
in fact justified ; the balance of interests could never 
remain a true one, and no sooner had the sovereignty 
passed from the King to the Scottish Parliament, 
than that body attempted to control the external 
relations of Scotland for themselves. The immediate 
result was a deadlock, which led to the complete 
abandonment, so far as the relations of England and 

^ A grateful acknowledgment is again necessary to Mr. Beer for allowing 
copious extracts to be made from his works in the text and appendices of this 

A very free use has also been made of recent researches of Mr. L. B. Namier 
in libraries and archives on both sides of the Atlantic. These have not as yet 
been given to the public, but Mr. Namier has kindly allowed them to be used. 



CHAP. Scotland were concerned, of the whole principle which 
s,^^,.^^^^^^ inspired the mercantile system. The union which 
followed was based upon the opposite principle 
that every inhabitant of Great Britain was to be 
considered as dedicated to the supreme interests of 
a common state claiming the obedience of all, irre- 
spective of their individual interests. The relation 
of every Scot to every Englishman was henceforward 
to be the same as the relation of Scots to each other 
and of Englishmen to each other. The attempt to 
unite two commonwealths by a balance of their 
mutual interests had failed, and the opposite plan 
of uniting the citizens of both in one new and greater 
commonwealth on the principle of mutual obligation 
was accepted as the only alternative to an open 
conflict between them. In turning to the colonies, 
therefore, it ^will now be necessary after 1707 to 
speak of their relations to Great Britain, and not 
to England, as heretofore. Scottish ministers, indeed, 
played almost as large a part as those bom south of 
the Tweed in the events which led to the rupture 
with the American colonies. 
Freedom At the closc of this period there were in all seven- 

tion^to** t®®^ colonies,^ with assemblies which exercised in 
anew strictlv local matters a control greater if anything 

environ- •' ^ ^ . 

mentin than that exercised by the people of Great Britain 
rendered ovcr domcstic affairs in their own country.^ It was 
^jJ'J® in this liberty, acquired by the colonists from the 
institution g^gt^ ^f fashioning in the light of their own experi- 
smaUseif- eucc the rudimcnts of their new life, that the 
sovereign merit of the English system lay. It 
enabled them to adapt for themselves their own 
social system to novel surroundings, because it 
allowed them, not only to manage their own 
affairs in their own way, but also to group themselves 

1 Lecky, History of Bnglcmd in the Eighteenth Century^ vol. iv. p. 65. 

2 Ibid. p. 42. 



into communities not too large for the purpose, chap. 
The action not of one but of many popular assemblies 
was needed to adapt American society in detail to 
the variations of its widely diflferent climates and 
soils. The plastic quality of English society, the 
freedom with which it was left to assume a shape 
complex and multiform as the conditions of the 
continent over which it was spreading, enabled it to 
secure a hold on America firmer than was ever secured 
by the societies of Spain, Holland, or France. 

But for this to be possible it was also necessary that The 
Spain, Holland, and France should be kept in check, ^^abie to 
Here, however, the institution of local assemblies J^^ ^ 
enabled the colonists to do nothing effective for their local 

>— • Assemhlies 

themselves. To keep America for the colonists until in the 
they had time to establish English society there was tasls^of 
recoffnized as a task beyond the powers of any but the general 
the Government of Great Britain itself The colonists weaitii, 
were given no share in the control of that Government. ItZio. 
Whether it would have been possible to have included common- 
colonial representatives in the Imperial Parliament ^^^^^ 

^ ^ ^ -^ , therefore 

must always remain in the field of conjecture. That languished 

they were not so included every one knows, and the 

student of history will be justified in observing that, 

as they had no voice in the Government responsible 

for the Commonwealth as a whole, and as there was 

laid upon them no obligation to contribute effectively 

to its necessities, it was impossible that they should 

develop the same sense of responsibility in respect of 

its common interests as Englishmen or Scotsmen 

who shared in the control as well as in the burdens 

which it involved. 

These, however, were not the only tasks into Through 
which the colonial system failed to initiate the numerous 
American colonists. Within areas vaguely described afaembUes 

o •' they were 

by their several charters they learned by making also unable 
mistakes how to avoid mistakes, and because they interests 



CHAP, were able, through their local assemblies, to apply 

J!l^ the leBBons so learned, they developed a sense of 

common to responsibility to each other for doing so. By virtue 

asTwh^ie. ^^ *^is powor o£ self-adaptatioH each little community 

prospered and spread through the wilderness, till at 

length it found itself in contact with others. The 

moment this happened the colonies were faced by 

problems of a new order, those arising out of their 

mutual relations. Between two contiguous colonies 

it was necessary to draw boundaries and to determine 

exactly what territory belonged to each. Here was 

a question which neither could settle for itself. The 

Indians, moreover, could scarcely be expected to 

distinguish the colonies from each other, and, when 

exasperated by one, wrought havoc throughout the 

settlements, regardless of frontiers. 

They In examining the American situation it is essential 

there- to realize the existence of interests such as these, 

^'^.i^.^ narrower than the general interests of the British 

Ameri^n Commonwealth as a whole, but wider than the local 

uch interests of the several colonies. They belonged to 

spiriras the same order as those which in the last fifty years 
developed ^*^® Called iuto cxistencc the Governments of the 
was com- Canadian Dominion, the Australian Commonwealth, 

mensurate t t n ia/»- tt« x 

with the and the South African Union. In the strictest sense 

lo^l ^ they were the interests of the American colonists 

ofThelr themselves, and touched them so vitally that they 

responsi- could hardly fail to recognize their existence. But 

under the colonial system they developed no organ 

through which to control them, and made no serious 

effort to do so. These strictly American affairs were 

left in the hands of the British Government, and the 

indifference of the colonists towards the general 

interests of l^e Commonwealth was scarcely more 

marked than their indifference towards those of 

America itself. The patriotism developed under 

the colonial system was confined to the colonial 


areas, those in which the colonists were able to chap. 

apply their experience and were responsible for .^^^^^^^^^,^ 

doing so. 

As explained in Chapter IV., the policy of British imperial 

.tatesme. towards the colonies w« moulded by the SjSa 

conceptions of the commercial system. . They left the nfeS 

colonists to concentrate their attention on the local concep- 

affairs of their several communities, in the belief that 
Britain could bind them to herself by undertaking 
to defend them against foreign aggression, and by 
offering a preference to their raw products, in return 
for which she was to confine the market for those 
products to herself. This system was based on a 
fi&lse deduction from a true estimate of facts. In the 
seventeenth century it was rightly seen that for 
England the growth of her trade was henceforward 
the condition of her national existence. The habit, 
to which this led, of regarding trade as the end and 
object of national life, though natural and easily 
acquired, was none the less mischievous. English 
statesmen of the seventeenth century were not 
interested in colonial projects as an outlet for surplus 
population ; ^ nor were they interested in colonies 
either as homes of freedom, or, except indirectly, as 
asylums for religious refugees. By the middle of the 
eighteenth century commercial interests had come to 
obscure all others in the minds of political thinkers. 
* There is no Situation,' wrote William Burke, 'in 
which Wealth is not Strength, and in which 
Commerce is not Wealth. If Commerce is our Object, 
we know, and in all other Cases we can at best only 
guess what we acquire.' * ' Happily for this country,' 
says another writer, ' the Real and Substantial, and 
those are the Commercial Iiiterests of Great Britain, 

1 See Note A at end of thie ohapter, p. 878. 

' Burke, An Examination of the Commercial Principles of the late Negotia- 
tion, London, 1762, pp. 8, 4, quoted by Beer, British Colonial Policy^ 1764- 
1766, p. 148. 


» 1 

CHAP, are now preferred to every other Consideration. 
^^ Their tendency to think of trade as the ultimate goal 
of national policy was one that Cobden and his school 
unconsciously inherited from the exponents of the 
system they attacked. 

One step in the downward path of error leads to 
another, and men who began by supposing that 
because trade was the condition, it must also be the 
object of national life, naturally assumed that the 
maxims and methods of commerce must be applied to 
the solution of political problems. Trade, as already 
observed,^ depends on a community of material 
interests, and can only be established where such 
a community existe. The old colonial system was an 
unconscious attempt to apply this idea to the political 
relations of a group of self-governing communities. 
Britain was to unite them to herself, simply by 
maintaining conditions under which it would be for 
the material interest of all to remain united. Their 
mutual relations were to be those of partners held 
together by material interests for the purpose of 
business. It was like an attempt to base family 
life on an arrangement from which everything is 
eliminated but tibe marriage settlements. As in 
trade, the relations between the mother country and 
her colonies were from first to last to be governed 
by the notion of contract. 
Colonists Such wcrc the ideas of English statesmen, and 

^e^com-^ American society was bred to them as a child is bred 
^^^^ to the ideas of its parent. On colonial character 

system ^ ^ 

to regard they had the same kind of dominating influence. 
relation to As early as 1683 Downing was urging that a new 
Ssedupon patent should be issued to Massachusetts, in which 
contract. « ^j^^ King " will be pleased to covenant to ayde 
and assist them, if need require ag^ all forreigne 

^ Whately, Th^ BeguUdions lately mcuU Concerning the Coltmies, 1765. 
 See above, p. 161. 


enemies." ' ^ By the middle of the eighteenth century chap. 
the contractual idea had become ingrained in colonial ^^ 
opinion. * " We have, by our own express consent, 
contracted to observe the Navigation Act, and by 
our implied consent, by long usage and uninterrupted 
acquiescence, have submitted to the other acts of 
trade, however grievous some of them may be."*^ 
So, too, Stephen Hopkins in 1765 : * ** The protection 
promised on the part of the crown, with chearfulness 
and great gratitude we acknowledge, hath at all times 
been given to the colonies." ' ^ 

In the later stages of the controversy which claim of 
preceded the Revolution the colonists were driven piJii^ent 
by the force of logic to question the title of the ^g"*^^**^ 
English Parliament to regulate their trade, and commerce 
historians whose miormation is derived from con- by the 
temporary pamphlets have explained the Revolution °°^°^^**' 
as largely a revolt against the Navigation Acts. 
As a matter of fact not only were the principles of 
the commercial system accepted by the colonists, but 
the system itself In 1754 Franklin declared that the 
Americans did not complain of the taxes imposed, 
though they had no share in laying or disposing 
of them, and ten years later, Otiai, the protagonist 
of the Revolution, wrote : * The act of navigation 
is a good act, so are all that exclude foreign manu- 
factures from the plantations, and every honest 
man will readily subscribe to them.'^ It was not 
the existing system, as in France, which provoked the 
Americans to revolt, but the attempt to change the 
system as they knew and understood it. 

The inherent defect of the system lay in the fact 

1 Beer, Origins of the British Colonial System, 1678-1660, p, 326. 

* Adams, Writings, IK, p. 113, quoted by Beer, British Colonial Policy, 
1764-1766, p. 806. 

' Stephen Hopkins, The Rights of the Colonies Exa/mffned (Providence, 1765), 
p. 9, quoted by Beer, BrUish Colonial Poliey, 1764^1766, p. 268. 

* See Note B at end of this chapter, p. 380. 


CHAP, that it was one which could not exist without control, 


^^^^^^^^^^^ and that control lay in the hands of only (me of the 

In Britain parties to the bargain. Each side was so situated 

^^J^^ as to think mainly or exclusively of its own interest, 

some which was but a part of the whole. There was no 

corrected common coutfol in which all shared, such as might 

^^cora^^ compel them to think of the interests of all — of the 

s^stera^to ii^t^rests, that is to say, of the Commonwealth as a 

coiTurt whole. In Britain the results of the system were 

opinion, uot secu at their worst, because the silent influence 

of responsibility was ever at work to correct and 

elevate public opinion. Statesmen like Chatham 

were the product of that influence. ' In selecting 

Canada instead of Guadeloupe (for retention after 

the Seven Years' War), which was the crucial point in 

the negotiations, Pitt was probably little influenced 

by the purely economic argument. To his large 

imagination, the prospect of a vast territorial increase 

of the Empire's area appealed strongly. Although 

these negotiations of 1761 came to naught, they 

furnished the basis on which the final treaty of 

peace was concluded a year later.' ^ In a pamphlet 

of the time already quoted, which, according to Beer, 

reflects the views of Grenville himself, are to be 

found some glimmerings of the larger view. * " Tho' 

we resign a valuable Branch of Trade in their (the 

colonies') Favour. . . . yet the Preference is given 

upon truly national Considerations, when the (British) 

Inhabitants of America and of Europe are looked 

upon as one People." ' ^ This was the ground frankly 

adopted by the party which supported in Parliament 

the retention of Canada and the cession of Gaude- 

loupe. * *' Neither ought the value of any country 

to be solely tried on its commercial advantages ; 

» Beer, British Colonial Policy, 1754-1765, p. 168. 

^ Tfie Regulations Lately 'Made (London, 1765), pp. 49-50, qnoted bj Beer, 
British Colonial Policy, 1754-1765, p. 221. 


that extent of territory and a number of subjects chap. 
are matters of as much Consideration to a state 
attentive to the sources of real grandeur as the 
mere advantages of traffic." ^ These arguments were 
. . . the general basis on which the statesmen of 
the day justified their choice of territorial acquisitions 
on the continent in preference to tropical expansion. 
Unquestionably the immediate advantage of British 
commerce was sacrificed to some future benefits. A 
broad policy resting on possible future advantages 
triumphed over a narrow policy of actual and im- 
mediate profita'^ 

This tendency in English political circles to make But even' 
human instead of material standards the measure of the mater- 
colonial values was too weak and came too late to ^ndraciea 
save the situation. * Colonies/ wrote an English ^^ *^« 
official in 1765, 'are only settlements made in prevailed. 
different parts of the world for the improvement 
of trade/ ^ This in a nutshell was the idea which 
inspired the old colonial system from the opening 
of the seventeenth century. The function of the 
colonies was not to extend English society to America, 
but to supply England with such materials aa she 
could not raise for herself. 'This was the general 
standard by which the value of colonies was gauged 
until about 1745. According to it, the New England 
and Middle colonies were found wanting, while those 
in the West Indies stood the test best. Hence £ar 
more attention was paid to the island colonies than to 
those on the mainland. The former were considered 
pre-eminently the valuable colonies. The sugar trade 
occupied in foreign commerce a somewhat similar 
position to the woollen trade, being popularly con- 
sidered a pivotal industry. In addition, the West 

1 Pari, Hist, 15, pp. 1271, 1272. 

2 Beer, BrUish Colonial Policy, 176Jhl765, p. 166. 

' Whately, The BegiUaiions lately made Gonceming the Colonies^ 1766. 


CHAP. Indian interest was strongly represented in England, 
^^^^^.^^^^^^ many of the governing classes having estates in 
those colonies.' ^ Hence the attitude of suspicion 
and dislike towards the New England colonies which 
prevailed amongst English statesmen in the seven- 
teenth century. These populous and powerful colonies, 
the national and typical o&pring of England herself, 
would not square with the commercial system, and 
Sandwich did not scruple to tell Charles II. that it 
was 'advisable to hinder their growth as much as 
can be.'^ Such continued to be the tendency of 
^ official opinion until in the face of discouragement 
New England had grown so populous as to offer a 
valuable market for the products of British industry. 
Effect of This failure of English statesmen to estimate 

Smln*^ rightly political values inflicted no injury on the 
Imperial: Northcm colouies which could not be remedied by 

Solicv on . , , , "^ 

eveiop. time. With the Southern colonies it was otibierwise. 

of the In order to make them yield the tropical products^ 

(^jg^iJ^^;ry . which in the view of European statesmen rendered 

(2) Prefer- colonies worth having, myriads of negroes were 

ence , o' y o ^ 

for slave pourcd iuto thcsc plantations. Since the continents 
^ were first opened and their inhabitants brought into 

contact, the most vital of all secular needs has been 
for the statesmanship which could avoid or heal the 
injuries inflicted on each other by the various levels 
of society. Mutual intercourse between them is now 
inevitable, and so long as they come into contact, as 
Britain and India have done, edge to edge, the evil 
consequences are such as foresight and perseverance 
can surely turn to good. But the mutual corrosion 
set up when radically different societies are laid face 
to face is beyond the reach of human intelligence to 
control. No reasonable person will now deny that 
the plantation of an African society in America, side 

' Beer, British ColonidL Policy, 1764-1766, p. 185. 
^ See Note at end of this chapter, p. 883. 


by side with European society, was one of the incurable chap. 
blunders of history. It is as well, therefore, to note 
that it was the direct result of a habit in statesmen 
of valuing new countries, not in terms of men but in 
terms of wealth, for the products they might draw 
from them, and not for the society they might plant 
there. To ignore ultimate values because they are 
imponderable and to consider nothing but what can 
be handled and measured with accuracy, is a natural 
failing of the human mind. The immediate profits 
of slavery were plain and easy to reckon, the future 
results to American society distant and incalculable. 
Hence the practical conclusion deduced by Burke 
that Guadeloupe with its slave plantations was more 
to be valued than half the continent of North 

As with Scotland before the Union, no appropriate Result of 
place was found for the Northern colonies in the old &em 
colonial system. For all its outward symmetry the l^l^ ^ 
philosophy which inspired it was too narrow for the motive for 
facts. Like their climate and population, the goods 
they produced and consumed most nearly resembled 
those produced and consumed by the English them- 
selves. New England was justified in the name 
bestowed upon it, and the Puritans who settled there 
soon found that it suited them to trade direct with 
Europe just as they would have done if they had 
remained at home. It was to their advantage to 
import such products from Europe as they needed, 
and to pay for them with sugar and tobacco from 
the West Indies and colonies to the South. Individual 
traders in New England had thus a private interest 
in ignoring the restrictions of the Navigation 
Acts,^ which was scarcely likely to be restrained by 
the public consideration that England bore the 
charge of Imperial defence. But once organized, 

^ See Kote D at end of this chapter, p. 384. 


CHAP, the illicit trade was by no means limited to the 

VI !• 

requirements of the colony in which it centred. 

New England, like Scotland before the Union, became 

a general artery of illegal commerce between all the 

colonies and foreign states. The loss to the English 

customs revenue due to the smuggling trade of New 

England was reckoned at £100,000 per annum.^ 

Lack of It was easy enough for the English Parliament 

'^yt to pass laws in restraint of trade. The difficulty 

S^^en-^ began when the English Government addressed 

traiized itself to the task of enforcing them. The customs 

Empire, officials iu America were of course appointed from 

whicifto England, and when they prosecuted a colonial 

trade^^ merchant before a colonial jury for some contravention 

regulations, of the Navigation laws they stood but a poor chance 

of securing a conviction.^ An attempt was made to 

overcome the difficulty by the establishment in the 

colonies of local Admiralty courts, that is to say of 

Imperial as opposed to colonial courts, and the 

English navy was used to seize colonial ships which 

were trading in contravention of the Navigation Acts. 

The attempt to control the system from England 

produced the same results as when France had tried 

to govern Canada from Paris. Traders who were 

interested in violating Imperial laws corrupted the 

Imperial officers appointed to enforce them.* 

Control of lu the theory which underlay the system, a line 

dl^ebp- was drawn between the internal affairs of the colony, 

ment which Were left to the control of its own assembly, 

inseparable ^ , •' ' 

from and external affairs, which remained under the 

^^xternai coutrol of the British Government. Oversea trade 

The com- ^^ included in the category . of Imperial affairs. 

merciai g^^J tj^^ truth was that internal development was 

system .  

ifirnored inseparably connected with external trade;* the 

this fact. 

^ Beer, The Old Colonial Syst^iny Part I. vol. ii. p. 269. 

^ See Note £ at end of this chapter, p. 386. 

' See Note F at end of this chapter, p. 387. 

* Beer, BrUish Colonial Policy, IIBJ^HQB, p. 204. 


system worked only so long as it could be freely chap. 
evaded in the' colonies. Britain, on the other ^^ 
hand, could only enforce the system by adopting 
a centralized machinery appropriate only to such 
empires as those of Spain and France and contrary 
to the spirit of the institutions which she had' 
planted in America. The upshot was that the 
system was largely inoperative. A great volume of 
illicit trade sprang up between foreign states and the 
British colonies, but especially with New England. 

This trade, while contributing greatly to the Colonial 
material prosperity of the colonies, was deeply JS^y*" 
demoralizing from a national point of view. To Jjf^^V^ 
ignore the law whenever it was profitable to do so traiimgin 
became a fixed habit of the trading community, treason- 
which bore disgraceful fruit when the Commonwealth ^th*™ ^ 
was struggling for existence with its ancient foes. ®U^™J/ ^ 
The advantage of the British Commonwealth lay in ^<^r- 
the power of its navies, maintained by the British 
taxpayer with no perceptible charge to the colonies, 
to prevent France and Spain from sending supplies 
to their forces in America. That advantage when 
achieved was in great part neutralized by the supplies 
furnished by colonists to the enemy. The law, as 
a matter of fact, permitted the export of provisions 
to French and Spanish colonies in time of peace, but 
of course forbade it in time of war. But the habit 
of evading trade laws was too strong for the colonial 
traders, and when the outbreak of war increased the 
profits to be gained from the provision trade, many 
of them ignored the fact that it had also rendered 
it treasonable. * When they were asked to desist 
absolutely from all commercial dealings with their 
best customers, their good friends the enemy, the 
sacrifice seemed even too much for their simple 
loyalty.' ^ In 1750 the English admiral declared that 

1 Hall, 'Chatham's Colonial Policy,' Am. Hist, Hev, July 1900, p. 666. 


CHAP, the supplies furnished to France from the English 
^^^^^^^^^^^ colonies had caused the failure of British operations 
1756-63. in the Caribbean Sea. In the Seven Years' War, 
'to a large extent, the colonies neutralized the ad- 
vantages arising from British naval activity, both 
supplying the French colonies with the sorely needed 
provisions, and also furnishing a market for their 
produce.' ^ * If it were not for these supplies we get 
from the enemy we should have to live upon what 
this place can furnish us,' wrote a Frenchman from 
the West Indies in 1758 in a letter which the British 
captured at sea. The English colonies were large 
producers of food for export, but so extensive was 
this trade with the enemy as to exhaust their surplus 
supplies ; while the French forces were abundantly 
supplied, those of England were actually in want 
and had to be furnished by imports from Europe.^ 
Provisions were more plentiful and cheaper in the 
French settlements than in the English West Indies.* 
Families like the Livingstons, who figure amongst the 
heroes of the Kevolution, were engaged in the trade.* 
indiffer- The demoralized state of public opinion which 

colonial Diade such things possible is best described in the 
opinion to words of Bccr himself. ' The trade,' he remarks, * was 
interesto Carried on so immoderately that it brought consider- 
Common- able wealth to the colonial merchants engaged in it. 
wealth. Burnaby, an English traveller who was in America 
during the war, reported that New York had "ac- 
quired great riches " in this manner. The immoderate 
extent of this trade was due to the temptations 
offered by the large profits, together with the absence 
of a strong imperial sentiment to counteract the 
promptings of self-interest. As was said at the time, 
in connection with these practices in Jamaica and in 
the North American colonies : *' Here it is an Island 

1 Beer, BrUish Colonial Policy^ 1764^1766, pp. 87-8. 

2 Ibid, p. 105. » Ibid, p. 102. * Ibid. p. IH. 


Interest, There it is the Interest of the Colonies; chap. 

• VI 

What opposes this Interest is, of all other Things v^,,,,^^.,^ 

the most obnoxious to them, For the Public or 

National Interest is out of the Question with both.'* 

At the outset the continental colonies supported this 

policy of non - intercourse, as their own immediate 

interests were concretely involved in repelling the 

French advance. In 1758 the tide turned, and in 

the following year, with the fall of Quebec, the i769. 

power of France on the continent was broken. It 

is significant that this trade with the enemy reached 

its high mark in 1760, when France was no longer 

; a source of danger to the continental colonies. In 

j the eyes of the British government, then under the 

I guidance of the great imperialist Pitt, France was 

the enemy, whether in India, Africa, Germany, North 
America, or the West Indies. It would seem, that 
to many in the colonies, France on the continent of 
America was the preeminent source of danger, but 
that France in the West Indies was merely an un- 
failing source of wealth. The marked provinciaUsm 
of the colonies blinded them to the fact that any 
support given to France in the Caribbean strength- 
ened her in Canada. What was in its essence a 
world-wide struggle between Great Britain and France 
— between two distinct types of civilization — con- 
tracted in the narrow vision of the colonies to the 
dimensions of a local conflict.' ^ 

Most, but not all, of the assemblies passed laws Demorai- 
I in restraint of the practice, and in doing so at once of public 

I placed their own traders at a disadvantage, and l^^^ 

rendered the business far more profitable for traders subiect of 
in the colonies which declined to follow suit.^ the enemy. 
Pennsylvania and Rhode Island were conspicuous 
offenders, and Boston J merchants organized them- 

1 Beer, BrUish Colonial Policy, 1754-1765, pp. 180-1. 
» Ibid. pp. 82-8, 90. 


CHAP, selves to engage in the trade in defiance of the laws 
enacted by Massachusetts until Rhode Island and 
Connecticut had placed their own trades under similar 
restraints.^ But, again, it was one thing to pass laws 
and another to find juries in the colonies to enforce 
them.^ The failure of the Imperial Government to 
secure convictions for trading with the enemy, where 
the oflFence was clearly proved, shows that it was not 
merely individual merchants but public opinion which 
had become demoralized. Even the Admiralty courts 
were influenced by the laxity of the atmosphere in 
which they worked.* In every commercial state 
individual traders are to be found who cannot resist 
the temptation to make large profits by furnishing 
the public enemy with means for the destruction of 
their countrymen. But there is something strangely 
amiss with a community in which public opinion 
condones such treason. An American trader sus- 
pected in 1898 of furnishing supplies to the Spanish 
fleet would have found short shrift in the streets of 
Charleston, Boston, or New York. Yet a temporary 
rebuff to American prestige was the worst that could 
have happened in the Spanish war. In the Severn 
Years' War, when every one knew that the existence 
of the colonies themselves was at stake, there was 
general indifference to thesordid treachery of furnishing 
the enemy with supplies. No better example could 
be cited of the effect on young communities of a system 
which permits control of domestic interests but denies 
responsibility for the issues of national life or death.* 
The com- To the colouists the position for which France 
ayatem was fighting in America was a greater menace 
afolse''" *^*^ *^ *^® English themselves. Their material 

{o|^. ° 1 Beer, British Colonial Policy, 1764-1765, p. 118. 

« Ibid. p. 121. 
« Ibid. p. 126. 

* See Note G, at end of this chapter, in which Beer's treatment of this 
important subject may be studied at length, p. 388. 


interest in defeating France was at once more im- chap. 


mediate and obvious. It supplied exactly the kind 
of motive upon which the exponents of the com- 
mercial system relied as a sufficient link between the 
colonists and the Commonwealth from which they 
sprang. But their reading of human nature was 
wrong from the first, because it was based on com- 
merce, and assumed that commerce was the beginning 
and end of life. The moment great cracks in the 
fabric began to appear and widen, those who were 
concerned for its unity forgot to talk of interests, 
and the word * loyalty' was on every man's lips. 
Suddenly they realized that material interests may 
bring men together, but nothing can be trusted to 
keep them together but the devotion which enables 
them to forget their interests and themselves. To 
breed such devotion in the men they govern is the 
ultimate task of statesmen, and it behoves them before 
all things to know how it is engendered. But the 
forces which unite men cannot be understood when 
studied in the market and not in the feunily, which 
after all is the primary unit of society. There it is a 
matter of common observation that parental is stronger 
than filial responsibility, that one father can oftener 
support ten sons than ten sons one father. The filial 
sense is strongest in children who have been called 
upon early to share the responsibilities of the family 
life. A sense of responsibility is indeed developed 
in proportion to the calls which are made upon it. 
The radical defect of the old colonial system was 
that firom the outset it ignored this side of human 
nature and placed on the colonists no duty for 
maintaining the Commonwealth as a whole. That 
task the parent community reserved to herself, believ- 
ing that she might depend upon the gratitude of the 
colonies to sustain their loyalty. The exponents of 
the commercial system missed the truth that loyalty 


CHAP, could only be sustained by associating the inhabitants 
of America with those of Britain in the task of defend- 
ing their common civilization. To argue that it was 
not possible to associate them is beside the point. 
The object of this inquiry is neither to censure nor 
justify the exponents of the old colonial system, but 
to see what the system was and to trace the results 
to which it inevitably led. 
Decline of That Under it the colonists were not associated in 
loyalty to the general tasks of the Commonwealth is a fact 
monw^ith ^^joud dispute. The effect of this severance from 
through its common life and responsibilities began to make 

want of , r <D 

exercise, itsclf felt from the outset. In Massachusetts, as early 
as the reign of Charles 11. , the assembly had claimed 
that it was * by the pattent a body politicke, in fact 
and name/ and as such that it had full power and 
*authoritje, both legislative and executive, for the 
gounment of all the people heere, whither inhabitants 
or strangers, both concerning eclesiasticks & in ciuils 
w^^out appeale, excepting la we or lawes repugnant 
to the lawes of England.' ^ * Our allegiance,' they 
said, ' is due to the natural body alone of the King, 
not to the publick body.' *The theory of the 
imperial constitution that ultimately prevailed in the 
colonies was that they were united to Great Britain 
solely through the Crown.' ^ In 1764 Stephexi 
Hopkins, the Governor of Rhode Island, * claimed 
that "in an imperial state, which consists of many 
separate governments, each of which hath peculiar 
privileges, and of which kind it is evident the empire 
of Great Britain is ; no single part, though greater 
than another part, is by that superiority intituled to 
make laws for, or to tax such lesser part; but all 
laws, and all taxations, which bind the whole, must 
be made by the whole." ' ^ But citizenship involves 

1 Mass. Col. Rec. IV. Part 11. pp. 24-6. 

* Beer, BrUUh Colonial Policy, 17S4r-1766, p. 310. 

» Ibid. pp. 310-11. 


an unlimited devotion which cannot be rendered to chap. 


two authorities, and Hopkins, like his contemporaries, 
was evading the inexorable question whether that 
devotion was due to the whole or the part. An 
equivocal loyalty clothed itself in the language of 
equivocation, rendering with the lips to the emblems 
of one state the service which the heart reserved for 
another. 'The colonists . . . asserted their loyalty 
to the mother country. Such assertions are, however, 
no proof of the existence of this sentiment. As in 
many other historical movements, the real motive 
was obscured because its revolutionary character 
would have injured the cause. The expression by 
the colonies of a desire for independence would 
inevitably have put on them the burden of proof, 
would have united all parties in Great Britain against 
them, and would have alienated many supporters ii) 
America. Hence the colonies to a great extent 
ignored the underlying cause of their actions, and in 
all sincerity expressed a loyalty, which in reality they 
did not feel. For if in loyalty there is implied any 
idea of sacrifice, then this sentiment was to a marked 
degree absent in the colonies. Their allegiance was 
purely utilitarian, and its fundamental basis had 
disappeared with the conquest of Canada.'^ The 
language which Beer here uses is very precise. 
'Loyalty,' he says, 'was to a marked degree absent 
in the colonies.' It was not, however, extinct. 
When the final crisis was reached, thousands of 
Americans were found to prefer poverty, exile, and 
death, rather than become aliens to the British 
Commonwealth. Their number was yet too small to 
turn the balance. The material was there no less than 
in Britain itself, but it had been left * unexercised 
and unbreathed ' by responsibility, and was therefore 
too little developed to turn the scale. 

1 Beer, British Colonial Policy, 1764 -1766, pp. 308-9. 



OHAP. Stephen Hopkins ' illustrated his conception of the 

.^^^^^^^^^^ British Empire by comparing it to the decentralised 

impractic- German system.' ^ The comparison was a just one, 

theories of ^^^ ^^c claims advanced by the colonial assemblies 

menUn ^^^^ cxactly on a par with those advanced by the 

the German princes, and in either case the result was 

arising imperial impotence. But in America the system had 

o7™ntoct^ bred a race of publicists whose doctrines were 

with facts, un tempered by contact with real political facts. 

The excellence of the principle that all should assent 

to measures affecting all seemed incontestable. But 

what was to happen when universal consent was not 

forthcoming was a question which the leaders of 

colonial opinion simply neglected to face. 

strictly The failure of the colonies to assume their share 

character of ID the general defence of the Empire was not more 

S^teiop^ striking than their incapacity to effect, by joint 

by American action, measurcs required for their own peace, order, 

colonists. ' ^ I' ' » 

and good government. In the letters published in 
1777 purporting to have been written by Montcalm 
it is remarked that the colonists 'in general care 
nothing for the King or Parliament of England. 
If fear of France had not acted as a rein to keep 
them in check, they would long ago have cast off 
their yoke, and each province would haA)e become 
a litUe Republic.*^ Clearly, there was nothing to 
suggest to the author of these letters any tendency 
on the part of the colonists to create an American 
republic. The only devotion he observed was that 
of the colonists to their several colonies. The one 
loyalty which flourished under the system was 
that evoked by the local communities for which 
Americans were really responsible. The only Govern- 
ment they were ready to obey was also the only 
Government which could tax them with effect. 

1 Beer, British Colonial Policy y 1764-1765, p. 811. 
a Jbid, note, pp. 172-3. 



The difficulties which led to the final catastrophe chap. 

• . . A . VI 

did not arise ' from the incapacity of the colonial ^^^^^^^^.^^ 
assemblies to handle Imperial problems, for this they American 
were never called upon by Great Britain to do. Those J^^** 
difficulties arose from their incapacity to handle the /^^^jjj^®^ 
domestic affairs of British America. The point, which imperial 
is of supreme importance, can be rendered clear by (b) from ' 
a simple analogy. In 1867 Canadians created the ij^terrots, 
Dominion Government, in 1900 Australians created tJ^f.^ai 

' subject of 

the Commonwealth Government, and in 1909 dispute. 
South Africans created the Union Government. 
These Governmenti; were created to meet Canadian, 
Australian, and South African needs which experience 
had proved that the existing provincial or colonial 
governments were incapable of meeting. Had they 
failed to erect these Governments, some action would 
have been necessary to meet the most pressing of 
these needs, which, though domestic, concerned more 
than one colony, and would if neglected have led to 
positive disaster. Such action could only have been 
taken, and in South Africa until 1909 was frequently 
taken, by the British Government.^ Now let it be 
supposed that the British Government, having applied 
in vain to the assemblies representing the provinces 
of Canada, and the various colonies in Australia and 
South Africa, for a contribution towards the cost of 
the service rendered, had endeavoured by an Act of 
the Imperial Parliament to levy that contribution 
direct from the colonists, it would have reproduced 
exactly the situation which led to the American 

1 The use of Imperial troops to quoll riots on the Witwatersrand is a recent 1918. 
instanoe due to the faot that the South African Union has not yet had time to 
organize its own forces for the maintenance of internal order. The Union 
Government, however, can be called upon to meet any special charges incurred. 
The Imperial Qovemment has not to recover these chaxges from the four 
colonial governments which existed before the Union, and which would have 
been certain to dispute the basis of apportionment. That was the position 
which the Imperial Government had in 1764 to face in America. 


CHAP. For the purpose of this inquiry it cannot be 

^^^^^^^^^^^ realized too clearly that in the British Common- 
wealth of to-day the particular difiBculty which 
led to the crisis in America has been dealt with 
by the series of constructive operations of which 
the Union of South Africa was the last. The issue is 
complicated by the fact that, while the costly function 
of defence has both a local and a general aspect, the 
two constantly overlap. Unlike the United States 
and Germany the British Commonwealth has never 
been so organized as to command the whole of its 
resources for the general defence.. For that supreme 
purpose the Imperial Government, such as it is, can 
levy no taxes except from the people of the British 
Isles. When, for instance, in 1895 the Govern- 
ment of the United States used language which 
could only be interpreted as a claim to control 
the destinies of Canada, the British Government 
repudiated that claim, but in language so temperate 
that a conflict was happily avoided.^ Had the 
United States persisted in the claim that Canada 
was subject to the sovereignty of the United States, 
a war in defence of the integrity of the British 
Empire would have been the inevitable issue. In 
defence of that cause the Imperial Government would 
have been able to command the whole resources of 
the British Isles. But it was not competent to 
command those of the Australian, New Zealand, and 
South African colonies, nor even those of Canada 
itself, the Dominion most directly concerned. To 
turn from supposition to fact, this was the position 
actually realized when the South African Republics 
1899. issued an ultimatum and invaded Cape Colony and 
Natal. To this extent the British resembles the 
Holy Roman Empire. The feature distinguishing 
the two Empires is the existence in the British 

^ See Note H at end of this chapter, p» 414. 



Empire of one community which up to the present ohap. 
has proved itself able and willing to secure the 
integrity of the whole, and to meet the cost of 
doing so from its own resources. And this so far 
it has accomplished by providing Imperial fleets 
and armies which can be moved to any part of the 
globe for the purpose of destroying forces which may 
anywhere threaten to violate the Commonwealth. 
The fact that India and the Dominions of Australia, 
New Zealand, South Africa, and Canada are still 
parts of the British Commonwealth was determined 
by battles fought at sea off the coasts of Spain 
and Egypt and by land on Spanish and Belgian 
territory. 'America/ as Chatham declared, 'was 
conquered in Germany.' ^ ' It is essential to an under- 
standing of the issues which led to the American 
Revolution to realize that no attempt was made by 
the British Government to tax the American colonists 
in order to meet charges of this class. To Imperial 
defence, as distinguished from the defence of America, 
they were never asked to contribute, • 

The conditions which led to the quarrel will be Thedis- 
clearer if it be imagined that the United States of iraperiai^ 
America had in 1895 pressed the interpretation of ^^jnion 
the Monroe doctrine there advanced by Mr. Olney interests 
to the point of war. The theatre of war would eincidated. 
certainly have been Canada, but in Canada there 
would have been at Ottawa one Government com- 
petent to evoke the whole manhood and wealth of 
British North America in aid of its defence ; and 
there is not the smallest reason to suppose that it 
would have failed in its responsibility. It is not 
at all unlikely that, had the English-speaking world 
been engaged in this internecine conflict, France and 
Russia might have seized the opportunity of challeng- 
ing British supremacy at sea, with a view to realizing 

^ Chatham, Speeches, vol. i. pp. 358-9. 


CHAP, their respective ambitions in Egypt and Asia. The 
British Commonwealth would then, as in the Seven 
Years* War, have been fighting for its life, and its 
ultimate success in resisting the claims of the United 
States of America would have depended, as in the 
eighteenth century, on the adequacy of its equipment 
for general defence — on its power to keep control of 
the sea. 
The To the cost of this general equipment the 

t^o^^ American colonists were never asked to contribute. 
MkS by ^^^ Stamp Act and tea duties were imposed in order 
Britain to to meet in part charges the whole of which the 
to charges Dominion, Commonwealth, or Union Governments 
whwhwere ^^^jj j^^^ assumc as a matter of course. Whatever 
Imperial. ^]^q pretcusions of the American assemblies may 
have been, they were from the character and situa- 
tion of the communities they represented unequal to 
the functions of a modern Dominion Government 
Experience proved them to be suited only for such 
business as now falls within the scope of the 
provincial governments of New Brunswick, Queens- 
land, or Natal. 
incaiMcity To begin with, after the manner of local bodies, 
coionki tbey were for ever quarrelling amongst themselves. 
to^settie^ Britain had really no concern in these quarrels. 
their owD The interests involved in them were entirely 
disputes. American. But the Americans were powerless to 
settle them for themselves, and the British Government, 
as in South Africa a century later, was constantly 
driven to intervene to prevent them from breaking each 
other s heads. ' It is characteristic of the particularistic 
spirit prevailing in the colonies that in 1755, at 
a time when their very existence was threatened by 
the French, Massachusetts and New York engaged 
in a bitter boundary controversy leading to riot and 
bloodshed. This episode called forth a caustic 
rebuke from the Lords of Trade, who wrote to 


Shirley : " It is very much to be lamented, that the chap. 
internal peace of Government should be disturbed v.^.^..^^..,,^ 
by trivial Disputes of this kind, at a time when the 
Colonys are so loudly called upon to exert with the 
greatest unanimity their utmost Strength in their 
own defence, and in vindication of His Majesty's 
Right" '^ 

Boundaries belong to that class of political problems incapacity 
which can be settled once for all. There are others, locai^ 
involving the adjustment of relations between two J^^^^lf 
sets of human beings, which ought not to be called the Indian 
problems, because they admit of no final solution, its 
The basic question arising out of the relation of the ^eri^inl 
settlers to the Indians was a case in point. In character. 
questions of this order conditions must be dealt with 
as they arise, but cannot be handled with any prospect 
of success without reference to certain continuous 
principles. Those who have seen an European society 
established in another continent side by side with its 
native society can best realize the imperative necessity 
of control over the relations of individual Europeans 
to individual natives. The success of such control 
will depend upon the steady application of a continuous 
policy to the whole area of contact between the two 
races. The extent of its failure will be marked by 
injuries to both. As to the incompetence of the 
colonial assemblies to grapple with this question the 
leading American and British historians agree. ' Until 
the middle of the eighteenth century, the British 1753. 
government had left the management of Indian aflfairs 
to the separate colonies. From their very foundation, 
the commercial relations with the aborigines had 
been important. With the development of Canada, 
the bulk of this trade had, however, drifted into 
French hands, yet at all times it constituted a not 
insignificant feature of the economic life of the 

» Beer, BrUish Colonial Policy, 1754-1766, pp. 49-50. 


CHAP. British colonies. The success of the French was due 
in great measure to the centralised form of their 
government, and similarly the failure of the English 
resulted from the fact that each colony sought to 
secure as great a share of the Indian trade as was 
possible, and thwarted the endeavors of its com- 
petitors. The result of this rivalry had been 
pernicious, not only in facilitating the success of the 
French in the fur trade, but also in alienating the 
Indians. . . . 

* This dissatisfaction of the Indians was due to many 
causes : to French incitement ; to the intrusion of 
English settlers on their lands ; to the abandonment 
by the English of the French policy of giving to the 
natives presents of guns and clothing ; and, above 
all, to the low moral character of the English traders 
In 1761, the secretary of state, Egremont, wrote to 
Amherst, condemning in strong terms the shameful 
conduct of the colonial traders in taking advantage 
of the Indians, and pointing out that the French, by 
pursuing a different course, had deservedly succeeded 
in gaining the confidence of the native tribes.' * * The 
earlier researches of Lecky had led him to very 
similar conclusions. ' The relations of the colonists 
to the Indian tribes were scarcely less demoralising. 
White men planted among savages and removed 
from the control of European opinion seldom fail to 
contract the worst vices of tyrants. The voluminous 
and very copious despatches of Sir W. Johnson and 
of Mr. Stuart, who during many years had the 

• Dec. 12, 1761. Am. and W.I. 77. On April 28, 1761, Francis 
Bernard wrote to the Board of Trade that the Indians ' ' are suffered to run 
in debt beyond their abilities & then are allowed to sell their children to 
pay their debts ; they are suffered to harass one another at Law for triviftl 
disputes, which sometimes end in the ruin of both parties ; when they are 
condemned in criminal prosecutions, they are subjected to Fines instead of 
oorporal punishment, so that where the Criminal only ought to be oorreoted, 
his family is ruined ; In civil actions, they are charged with exorbitant costs, 
when it is known they have nothing to pay with." B. T. Mass., 78 LI. 14. 

1 Beer, British Colonial Policy, 1764-1766, pp. 268, 266-6. 


management of Indian affairs, ate, on the whole, chap. 
extremely creditable to the writers. They show that 
the Grovernment laboured with great humanity, 
equity, and vigilance to protect the rights of the 
Indians, but they also show that they had to 
encounter insuperable difficulties in their task. The 
Executive was miserably weak. There were usually 
no troops within reach. Juries in Indian I cases could 
never be trusted, and public opinion on the frontier 
looked upon Indians as little better than wild beasts. 
The French had in this respect succeeded much 
better. The strong Executive of Canada guarded 
the Indians effectually from depredations, restricted 
commercial dealings with them to the better class of 
traders, and attached them by a warm feeling of 
gratitude. But the despatches of Johnson and Stuart 
are full of accounts of how the English settlers 
continually encroached on the territory which was 
allotted by treaty to the Indians; how the rules 
that had been established for the regulation of the 
Indian trade were systematically violated; how 
traders of the lowest kind went among the savages, 
keeping them in a state of continual drunkenness till 
they had induced them to surrender their land ; how 
the goods that were sold to Indians were of the most 
fraudulent description ; how many traders deliberately 
excited outrages, against their rivals; how great 
numbers of Indians who were perfectly peaceful, and 
loyal to the English, were murdered without a shadow 
of provocation ; and how these crimes were perpetrated 
without punishment and almost without blame. 

' A few voices were no doubt raised in the 
colonies on their behalf. Franklin wrote with honest 
indignation denouncing some horrible murders that 
had been perpetrated in Pennsylvania. The Quakers 
were usually noted for their righteous dealing with 
the Indians. ... It is a significant fact that in the 



CHAP. French war the Indians were usaally on the side of 


,^^^,^.^^,„^^ the French, and in the War of Independence on the 
side of the Government, and the explanation is 
probably chiefly to be found in the constant and 
atrocious outrages which they endured from the 
American traders.' * 
Need for The imperative need of some authority in a 

ind^an^™ Sphere which was neither Imperial nor colonial but 
^^ American, was recognized much less clearly by 
by the colonial politicians than by British officials. The 
00^^. truth was that the British Government felt, what 
™ioiiiai the colonial assemblies never felt, that the final 
summoned T^pcnsibility rested upon them. It is only by 
at Albany handling the fiacts that men learn to understand 
proposes a them. In 1753, when the British and French in 
rcob^r America were fast drifting into war, the British 
Government realized that the incapacity of the 
colonial assemblies to handle Indian affairs was about 
to yield a terrible harvest. The coherent policy of 
the centralized French Grovernment had succeeded in 
attracting the more powerful tribes to its cause, and 
the British colonies were threatened with all the 
horrors of an Indian invasion. Not one but many 
colonial frontiers were menaced, and the folly of 
attempting to handle the tribes through a number of 
assemblies was obvious enough. The British Govern- 
ment therefore convoked a meeting of representatives 
from the colonies immediately threatened, to negotiate 
with the Indians. If possible, the instruction ran, 
all the colonies were to be * comprized in one general 
Treaty to be made in his Majesty's name.'^ The 
1754. Congress which assembled at Albany resolved unani- 
mously, in terms which went to the root of the 
whole matter, that a union of all the colonies was 
absolutely necessary for their security and defence, 

^ Lecky, History of England in the Eightunth Century^ vol. iv. pp. 86-8. 
« Beer, BrUish Colonial Policy, 1764-1766, p. 17. 


and appointed a committee to prepare a plan. chap. 
The document which embodied their reasons reveals 
the impotence of the colonists to handle their own 
interests under the existing system. * " The com- 
missioners from a number of the northern colonies, 
being met at Albany, and considering the difficulties 
that have always attended the most necessary general 
measures for the common defence, or for the annoyance 
of the enemy, when they were to be carried through 
the several particular Assemblies of all the colonies ; 
some Assemblies being before at variance with their 
governors or councils, and the several branches of 
the government not on terms of doing business^with 
each other; others taking the opportunity, when 
their concurrence is wanted, to push for favourite 
laws, powers or points, that they think could not at 
other times be obtained, and so creating disputes and 
quarrels ; one Assembly waiting to see what another 
will do, being afraid of doing more than its share, or 
desirous of doing less, or refusing to do anything 
because its country is not at present so much exposed 
as others, or because another will reap more immediate 
advantage ; from one or other of which causes, the 
Assemblies of six out of seven colonies applied to, 
had granted no assistance to Virginia, when lately 
invaded by the French, though purposely convened, 
and the importance of the occasion earnestly urged 
upon them ; — considering moreover, that one principal 
encouragement to the French, in invading and 
insulting the British American dominions, was their 
knowledge of our disunited state, and of our weakness 
arising from such want of union," ... for these 
reasons the commissioners unanimously decided that 
" a union of the colonies is absolutely necessary for 
their preservation." These difficulties had existed 
throughout the entire history of the colonies, but at 
no previous time was the situation so critical. 


OHAP. *The committee appointed by the colonial com** 

^^,^^,^^^,^ missioners accordingly drafted a plan of union, and 
this plan, chiefly the work of Franklin, was in due 
course unanimously adopted. It provided for an 
executive and a legislature ; the former — the president- 
general — to be appointed and supported by the Crown, 
the latter — the Grand Council — ^to be elected by the 
various assemblies in the eleven colonies* This legis- 
lature was to consist of forty -eight members, the 
colonies being represented roughly according to popu- 
lation and wealth. To this Grand Council was given 
jurisdiction over Indian affairs, both political and 
commercial. It was to raise and pay soldiers, to 
build forts for the defence of the colonies, and to 
"Equip Vessels of Force to Guard the Coasts and 
protect the Trade on the Ocean, Lakes, or Great 
Rivers." In order to raise the requisite funds for 
these purposes, the 'Grand Council was given power 
to make laws and to impose general duties and taxes. 
All acts of the Grand Council, however, required the 
consent of the president-general, and, in addition, all 
laws were to be submitted to the king in council for 
approbation. This plan, it is apparent, implied an 
assumption by the colonies of a far greater share of 
the cost of defence than had hitherto been customary. 
The * This proposal for a political union of the colonies 

prowls under one general government in America was ulti- 
j^°^®^^y mately to be brought into effect by an act of the 
colonial Parliament of Great Britain. With the exception of 

lUUlATn ill 1 f^Q 

those from Massachusetts, the colonial commissioners 
did not, however, have full powers, and accordingly 
it was provided that the plan should be, first sub- 
mitted to the colonies. With the same unanimity 
with which their representatives had adopted the 
plan, the colonial assemblies either rejected or failed 
to ratify it. The reasons for this failure were, on the 
oile hand, the particularism of the colonies, and on 


the other, their underlying conviction that Great chap. 
Britain, if left no other choice, would ultimately have 
to assume the task of defending them. According to 
Shirley, the commissioners at Albany '*had no ex- 
pectation " that the colonies would adopt the plan ; 
and he added, " nor could any proper plan be form'd, 
as I apprehend, in w**** the several Gov** would unite." 
Franklin was not more sanguine. On December 29, 
1754, he wrote to Collinson : "All the Assemblies in 
the Colonies have, I suppose, had the Union Plan 
laid before them, but it is not likely, in my Opinion, 
that any of them will act upon it so as to agree to it, 
or to propose any Amendments to it. Every Body 
cries, a Union is absolutely necessary, but when they 
come to the Manner and Form of the Union, their 
weak Noddles are perfectly distracted." ' * 

Franklin strongly advocated that the union should interven- 
be brought into existence by an Act of the Imperial sSish 
Parliament. 'Till it is done,' he wrote in 1755, ^^^^ 
^ never expect to see an American War carried on as ^^^f^^^ 
it ought to be, nor Indian Affairs properly managed.' * and others 
It was the governors, whose office was the link ^^ ™«"ca. 
between Imperial authority and colonial autonomy, 
who realized most keenly the dangers of the system. 

* At the very time that the colonial commissioners 
were sitting at Albany, the clear-sighted lieutenant- 
governor of Virginia, Robert Dinwiddle, in a forcible 
despatch to the secretary of state, bitterly commented 
on the particularism of the separate colonies and on 
their lack of a spirit of cooperation. " Now what. 
Sir, [he wrote] must be the result of this ? Virginia 
alone is not able to support the whole Burthen ; 
k, if some Method is not found to take away these 
destructive Denials of Assistance from the other 
Colonies, when it is judged proper to be demanded 
by his Majesty for the common Good, as now ; The 

» Beer, BrUish Colonial Policy, 175Jhl766, pp. 19-22. ^ /j^. p, 29. 


CHAP. Consequence must be, the present Loss of one of the 
finest & most fertile Countries in America; & the 
future destruction of all the British Dominions on 
this Continent." . . . Two months later, Din widdie once 
more wrote to Robinson, on the great uncertainty of 
obtaining the necessary support from the Virginia 
Assembly, as Maryland and Pennsylvania had been 
so " monstrously backward," and adding, " but really, 
without a British Act of Parliament to oblidge all 
the Colonies to a mutual Supply, I dread the Gover- 
nours will hardly be able to perswade them." ' ^ 
Similar experience was driving Shirley, the governor 
of Massachusetts, to similar opinions. 

* The Pennsylvania legislature, after " an absurd 
obstinate Dispute w*^ Gov'' Morris ab* Instructions 
have adjourned themselves, whilst the Enemy is at 
their Doors, to the beginning of May, without doing 
anything for the preservation of their Country." The 
Maryland Assembly has likewise ^' risen" without doing 
anything further than providing for "a Company of 
fifty men, w"^^ was done before." South Carolina was 
not active in the common cause, and Virginia was 
not doing as much as she should. '' This behaviour 
[Shirley concluded] seems to shew the necessity not 
only of a parliamentary Union but Taxation for the 
preservation of his Majesty s Dominions upon this 
Continent, w^^ the several Assemblies have, in so 
great a measure abandon'd the Defence of, and 
thereby layd his Majesty s Governm'' at home under 
a necessity of taking care of it for the State by suit- 
able assessm^ upon the Colonies." ' ^ 
Particu- Their experience in the last French war had 

TO™niM^ taught the British ministers what to expect from 
as attested ^j^^ co-opcratiou of the colonial assemblies. Inde- 
foreign peudcut testimony on this subject has been left in 

observer, **■ 

^ Beer, British Colonial Policy, 1754-1766, pp. 48, 44-5. 
« Ibid, p. 47. 


the writings of Kalm, a Swede, who visited the chap. 
colonies immediately after the war of the Austrian 
Succession. ' It has commonly happened/ he wrote, 
' that while some provinces have been suffering from 
their enemies, the neighbouring ones were quiet and 
inactive and as if it did not in the least concern 
them. They have frequently taken up two or three 
years in considering whether they should give assist- 
ance to an oppressed sister colony, and sometimes 
they have expressly declared themselves against it.' ^ 

In 1755 the rapid encroachments of the French The 
and Indians were bringing matters to a crisis, and oo^^ 
to save the situation the Ministry resolved to provide ^^ ^ 
four regiments at the expense of the British taxpayer, take action 
Braddock was sent to take couimand, and William expense of 
Johnson was appointed to the charge of Indian affairs, toxjjayen 
The failure of the Southern colonies, includinff Penn- p^ioniai 

' ^ o troops 

sylvania, to support Braddock, largely contributed to largely 
his downfall in 1755.^ Next year the formal declara- ^tish°™ 
tion of war found the American colonies no more ~ 
united and in no better position to conduct their ^^^^' 
own defence. The British Government now fell 
back on the expedient of making grants to the 
colonial assemblies in proportion to the work they 
had actually done. Pitt, who realized that the future 
of the British Commonwealth hung upon the issue 
of this war, saw that so long as it lasted everything 
should be sacrificed to the one object of beating the 
French. In England it was far less difficult to raise 
money than to raise soldiers and transport them to 
America. He persuaded Parliament therefore to 
spend some £200,000 a year in payment to the 
American colonies for their services in defending 
their own territory from the French, and about two- 

* Leoky, History of England in the Eighteenth Century, vol. iv., note on 
pp. 10-11. 

> Beer, BrUiah Colonial Policy, 1764-1765, p. 44. 


CHAP, fifths of the expenditure incurred by the colonies 
.^^^^^^^^ was thus reimbursed by the British Parliament. In 
this way Pitt succeeded in bringing into the field 
a considerable body of colonial troops. Of these 
seven-tenths were furnished by Massachusetts, Con- 
necticut, and New York, which together contained 
one -third of the colonists. The other two -thirds 
sustained a burden less than one-fourth of that 
assumed by the more public-spirited communities. 
Results The general result is thus stated by Beer. ' It is 

experience apparent that a system which allowed a colony to 
vf ^llr^^^ evade in whole or in part the performance of its 
obligations as a part of the Empire was inherently 
vicious. Each colony was intent on seeing what the 
others were doing, and the action of the least zealous 
tended to become the standard by which the others 
regulated themselves. The system was an unfair one. 
It threw a relatively larger share of the burden on 
public -spirited colonies, whose activity was thus 
penalized, while at the same time a premium was 
placed on neglect of duty. It diminished the potential 
military strength of the colonies during the greatest 
crisis of their existence, forcing the mother country 
to make up, in part at least, the deficiency thus created. 
It also limited the extent of the operations themselves ; 
for, had more troops been available, it is probable 
that Louisiana .would have been conquered. From a 
military standpoint as well, the system was deficient. 
The successive commanders-in-chief wasted much 
time and energy in obtaining the colonial levies. In 
order to secure the needed support, they were 
repeatedly forced to interfere in the internal politics 
of the colonies, especially in Pennsylvania. Disputes 
as to the conditions and duration of service were 
frequent. It was never exactly known how many 
troops the colonies would provide, and occasionally 
their tardiness in arriving for service unduly delayed 


an expedition. 'In all these' different ways were chap. 
military operations hampered, and the strength and 
efficiency of the army impaired. Thus, the experi- 
ences of the war served but to reenforce the conclusion 
reached by many already in 1755, that the defence 
of the colonies in time of peace could not with 
safety be left to them because of their lack of union, 
and also that they could not be relied upon as a 
whole to provide voluntarily for their due proportion 
of the necessary military establishment.' ^ 

During the war Johnson had found that as an Ministers 
Imperial officer he was powerless to control the ^^^^e 
colonial traders in their relations with the Indians. conciusioD 

that the 

Laws regulating this trade involved the action of a legisiatire 
dozen legislatures, and the conclusion was forced on of the" ^ 
the British Government : ' That our Interest with ^^^ 
respect to the Indians never can be settled with mentmust 

^ be evoked 

stability, but by the interposition of the Parliament for the 
of Great Britain, in making some general Regulations r^^tioo 
for the management of Indian Affairs, upon some affiS^" 
general Plan, under the sole direction of the Crown 
k its Officers.' ^ 

This was in 1762. The Peace of Paris was signed indiiw 
early next year, but the ink was scsurcely dry before ^^w 
the frontiers of Pennsylvania and Virginia were ?°i^^ 
devastated by an Indian rising of unparalleled ferocity 
and magnitude under Pontiac, an Indian with genius 
for organization. ' A confederation including several 
Indian tribes had suddenly and unexpectedly swept 
over the whole western frontier of Pennsylvania and 
Virginia, had murdered almost all the English settlers 
who were scattered beyond the mountains, had 
surprised and captured every British fort between the 
Ohio and Lake Erie, and had closely blockaded F<M:t 

1 Beer, BrUish Colonial Policy, 1754-1766, pp. 70-1. 

* Board of Trade to Thomas Boone, June 3, 1762. B. T. So. Ca. 29, p. 171, 
qaotod by Beer, Britifh Colonial Pelicy, 1764-1765, p. 266. 



CHAP. Detroit and Pittsburg. In no previous war had the 
^^^^^^^^^^ Indians shown such skill, tenacity, and concert ; and 
had there not been British troops in the country, the 
whole of Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Maryland would 
probably have been overrun. In spite of every eflFort, 
a long line of country twenty miles in breadth was 
completely desolated, and presented one hideous 
scene of plunder, massacre, and torture. It was 
only after much desperate fighting, after some losses, 
and several reverses, that the troops of Amhe^rst suc- 
ceeded in repelling the invaders and securing the 
three great fortresses of Niagara, Detroit, and 
Pittsburg.' ' 
The Amherst was instructed by the British Govem- 

asBembiies D^^ut to Call upou the colouics for assistance. But 
haying tj^e Ministry did not dare to ask the people of Oreat 

failed onoe f^ , . . i 

more to Britain, groaning as they were under the burden of 

J^^i. taxation imposed by the recent war, to vote further 

men^or^^ grants as an inducement to colonial assemblies to 

B^twL^* protect their own frontiers from native attacks, which 

Govern- were in fact provoked by the failure of those very 

driven to assemblies in the management of Indian affairs. 

Se raSg Accordingly, Amherst was warned that he must not 

and to offer the slightest hope to the assemblies that the 

maintain __ . ^ ■*■ 

permanent English Treasury would pay for the troops they 
X^S furnished. Again, Beer may be called upon to relate 
wM^madT w^** followed. ' As the situation was a most serious 
one, Amherst asked New York, New Jersey, Pennsyl- 
vania, and Virginia to furnish some troops, but he 
refrained from calling on the New England colonies. 
This led to a number of dijfficulties. The New York 
Assembly thought it unreasonable that all the colonies 
had not been asked, and agreed to contribute their 
quota only if the New England colonies did likewise. 
New Jersey followed the example of New York. On 
account of the lack of response to the requisitions, 

^ Lecky, History of England in the Mghteenlh Century^ vol. iv.. pp. 57*8. 


Gage, who towards the end of 1763 succeeded chap. 
Amherst as commander-in-chief, also asked the New 
England colonies for aid. Massachusetts refused to 
respond to his request, not being willing to submit 
to any dictation from New York. The New Hamp- 
shire Assembly, on the ground that neither Con- 
necticut nor Massachusetts had complied, likewise 
refused, alleging also that they could not support the 
charge of the two hundred men requested by Gage 
"at so great a Distance as Niagara." Similarly, 
Rhode Island would not raise tlte troops demanded 
by the Commander-in-Chief Some of these difficulties 
were overcome. Thus Connecticut finally agreed to 
levy a small body of soldiers. But in Pennsylvania, 
the old dispute between the proprietors and the 
legislature interfered with the grant of effective 
support. Virginia, however, had responded energetic- 
ally to Amherst's requisition. New York ultimately 
raised somewhat over one -half of the number of 
troops desired, whereupon New Jersey agreed to 
provide three hundred instead of the six hundred 
that Amherst had requested. 

*The general attitude of the colonies is compre- 
hensively described by the governor of New Jersey in 
a despatch in which he discussed the difficulty of 
raising troops in the colonies. On March 6, 1764, 
William Franklin wrote to the Board of Trade : "The 
Want of Union among the Colonies must ever occasion 
Delay in their military Operations. The first that 
happens to be called upon postpones coming to any 
Determination till 'tis known what the other Colonies 
will do ; and each of those others think they have an 
equal Right to act in the same Manner. This pro- 
crastinating Conduct, owing to the Jealousies and 
Apprehensions each Colony has lest it should happen 
to contribute Somewhat more than its Share, is the 
Reason why the American Levies are sometimes 


CHAP, delay'd till the Season for Action is nearly elapsed." 
^^ In view of these facts, the following words of Halifax 
seem somewhat mild. On May 12, 1764, he wrote 
to Golden : " It were much to be wished that the 
several Colonies whose assistance was required had 
chearfuUy exerted themselves to raise the full numbers 
of Men demanded of them by His Ma*^* Commander- 

* Thus it was again demonstrated that the requisi- 
tion system was absolutely unworkable. Its inefficacy 
rendered the establishment of a standing army in 
America essential. In fact, the failure of the colonies 
to respond to the requisitions in 1764 forced both 
Amherst and Gage to disobey their instructions to 
reduce the regular force in America. The British 
government was left no choice, and was forced to 
keep a large force on the continent. 

*This measure was a direct result of existing 
military conditions. As, however, it was generally 
recognized in England that there was in the con- 
tinental colonies a marked tendency toward inde- 
pendence, the fact that such a standing army would 
serve as a counteracting agency was not totally 
ignored. At most, however, if at all a motive of 
this measure, it was a distinctly subordinate one. 
Until the revolutionary movement was well under 
way, several years after the adoption of this policy, 
but very slight, if any, stress was laid on the American 
army as a weapon of coercion.' ^ 
Question The cost of the force necessary was estimated at 

^urees^^ £220,000 over and above the amounts voted by Parlia- 
fr?™ ment to support American garrisons before the war. 

the cost * The difficulty in securing adequate support fix)m the 
forceTfn colonics during the war with France, and subsequently 
wM^to^be thereto during the Pontiac conspiracy, convinced the 
met The British government that parliamentary taxation was 

> Beer, BrUiah Colonial Policy, 1754-176/), pp. 263-6. 


the sole aud only means of obtaining from the chap. 
colonies their just share of the cost of their own .^^^^^^^.^^ 
defence. Thus on March 10, 1764, Calvert wrote to dilemma 
Governor Sharpe of Maryland that he had predicted Imposedon 
tiiiat colonial taxation would be inevitable on the the British 


return of peace because of " the colonies remiss^ of ment 
Duty to the Crown & themselves in defence g^ the 
Enemy the French, who neither at the commence nor 
during the War in America were our equals, either 
in Strength or Circumstances, our Colonies Superiour 
in all, & with a Little Assistance our People of the 
Colonies might have subdued the French." But an 
army had to be sent from England which gained the 
victories which resulted in the peace of 1763. Since 
then, a " War has broke out upon the Colonies by the 
Savages, the colonies neglect by their provincial 
Legislatures not raising subsidies to avert, nor in 
defence, stand still & see their Neighbours cruly 
Butchered by the Savages, squabliug ab* framing 
Asaessm^ Bills to pass, tho' in Defense bound to his 
Majesty & themselves, send to the mother country 
for money aid & assistance of Troops." 

' In consequence of the patent fact that the 
colonies, as a whole, would not voluntarily con- 
tribute their share of the military burden, it was 
decided to tax them for this purpose. This decision 
was the logical result of events from the year 1754 
on. The British government might again have tried 
to form a union of the colonies as it had done in 1754 ; 
but the colonies had shown such an aversion to the 
scheme that any such attempt was inevitably doomed 
to failure. On the other hand, the mother country 
might have borne the whole burden of defence, even 
though this would have violated the prevailing theory 
and custom. Such a step was, however, decidedly 
inadvisable, not only because it might be the entering 
wedge for still larger future increases in the colonial 


CHAP, budget, but also because of the existing strain on 
British finances. The war had about doubled the 
debt, which stood at the exceedingly large figure of 
one hundred and thirty milUon pounds, with an 
annual interest charge of four and one half million 
pounds. In addition, Great Britain was spending 
large sums on the navy, which was regarded as the 
Empire's main bulwark. Even after the conclusion 
of peace, Parliament granted annually one and a half 
million pounds for this purpose. Consequently, 
British financial resources were severely strained, and 
the already overburdened taxpayer in the mother 
country was in no humor to undertake more than 
his fair share of the expense of defending the colonies. 
In the eyes of the colonies, the imposition of a parlia- 
mentary tax on America would, however, violate the 
principle of "no taxation without representation." 
This principle they regarded as the basis of civil and 
political liberty ; and even if its violation could be 
justified in their eyes, it meant that the colonies were 
to contribute funds toward the support of an army 
over whose actions they would have no control. The 
adoption of either alternative of this dilemma was 
bound to lead the British government into serious 
diflficulties. But some decision was imperative, for a 
policy of inaction would have been suicidal.' ^ 
Necessity The gist of the whole matter was that the Seven 
X::., rW ^.r had forced into prominence problen« 
connection ^hich, though strictly American, were yet too large 
tivewith for any of the autonomous colonies of America to 
®*^ * "®' handle. The Indian question alone occupied a field 
too wide for any executive which the colonists con- 
trolled. The British Government attempted to fill 
the r61e of an • American executive, and to provide 
such uniformity in the administration of native 
afiairs as was necessary to prevent constant blood- 

1 Beer, BrUish Colonial Policy, 1754-1766, pp. 269-73. 


shed. At once, however, their oflScers were brought chap. 
up by the fact that sooner or later administration 
involves the enactment of a law to administer. They 
were also brought up by the fact that administration 
involves expenditure and expenditure involves the 
raising of revenue. To enact laws or vote revenue 
were both functions which lay beyond the scope of 
an executive. Where the supremacy of law has once 
been established, an executive without a legislature 
is as much a creature of fancy as those winged heads 
that adorn the canvasses of Raphael and Murillo, 
though publicists of that date were not the last to 
talk as though political wonders could be worked by 
the magic of executives suspended in the air. In 
fact, nothing effective could be done in the interests of 
America as a whole without reference to a legislature. 
The subsequent experience of the American colonies 
themselves was to prove the impotence of an execu- 
tive which depended on a number of legislatures, 
even where that executive was their own joint 
creation. A head cannot exist without a body ; but 
neither can it exist with more than one. Executive 
and legislature are but organic parts of one being, 
Grovernment, and Government begins to lose its 
vitality as soon as the arteries which connect those 
parts are cut. 

The British Ministry and its oiticers thus found vital 
themselves paralysed for lack of the powers and f^^^l 
revenue which could be derived only from a single solution 

^ " attempted 

legislature, and instead of addressing themselves to by the 
the constructive task of creating an appropriate Oovem- 
legislature, sought what they needed from the ^^^^' 
already existing legislature of Great Britain. This 
meant that the law governing Americans in strictly 
American affairs waa in future to be made by an 
assembly in which not a single American was repre- 
sented. Provincial affairs, those transacted by the 


CHAP. States at the present day, would have remained in 
the hands of the colonial assemblies. But in its 
main outlines the fabric of American society would 
have been shaped not by American, but by British 
experience. Worse still, the sense of responsibility 
of Americans would have gone ' unexercised and un^ 
breathed' in all American affairs but those which 
were the most subordinate and local. Content to 
concern themselves with questions of detail only, 
they would have become a people incapable of self- 
government, and therefore unfit to share not only 
in the task of governing America as a whole but 
in that greatest of all human responsibilities, which 
the march of events was fast placing on the shoulders 
of the British Commonwealth. No group of com- 
munities unexercised in the real work of self-govern- 
ment would have been fit to grapple with its titanic 
task of making and keeping the relations of all the 
levels of human society amenable to law. The peoples 
of England, Wales, Scotland, and Ireland were not 
fit for the government of India until they had 
acquired control of their own relations to each 
other, until the inhabitants of that indivisible unit, 
the British Isles, were masters of their own fate. 
The people of Canada would not. be fit to join in 
the task of Indian government, unless they had first 
achieved control of Canadian affairs. And the same 
is true of Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa. 
The day when the needs of mankind could be satis* 
fied by states limited by uniformity of race, language, 
or contiguity of territory had already reached its 
zenith. Henceforward the greatest need was for a 
state wide enough to include all levels of civilization, 
and portions, therefore, of every continent, the pre- 
cursor of that state, still in the remote future, which 
shall embrace them all. But the primary condition 
of such a state was and is a supreme Government 


with all its fetcultiee reserved for supreme affairs, chap. 
It can only be realized by the fullest possible develop- ^...^.^v-.^ 
ment of local self*government. Every comnaunity in 
such a state capable of self-government must be so 
constituted as to be able to govern itself. Wherever 
the Imperial problem (using that word in its accurate 
significance) is met, it may invariably be traced to 
some failure to separate local from Imperial issues. 

The commercial system had only permitted the Legislative 
growth of governments competent to manage the ofa^"*^^ 
affairs of American localities, and had failed to create fxciualve?* 
any government competent to deal with the affairs of repreaent- 
America. £320,000 ^ was now needed on the morrow mopie of 
of a great war for the primary function of creating fp^^ ^y 
peace and order in America. All other means having ^^^^" 
feiiled, the British Government assumed the task, and solution of 
prepared for submission to the British Parliament Txciusiveiv 
measures calculated to raise from America and the t^^^^x. 
West Indies an amount less than a half of the sum of Amenca. 
required. ^''^^• 

Of these the first was a sugar Bill passed by Par- Grenviiie's 
liament in 1764 which, by various alterations in the forieyying 
existing customs system, was estimated to produce bution" 
about £45,000 a year. When introducing it Gren- ^J^"™ \^^ 

•^ . , *^. . American 

ville announced the intention of the Ministry to colonists. 

J.1 1* 11 • •  11 Hisiuvita- 

prepare m the following year a measure requiring all tion to the 
legal documents to be written on paper bearing stamps ^mbiies 
purchased from the British Government. Newspapers ^ suggest 

some altci*' 

and broadsides were also to bear the stamps. A native. 
year's notice was given of the proposal in order that 
the colonial assemblies might, if they saw fit, render 
it unnecessary by raising the contribution for them- 
selves. The agents of the various colonies went in a 
body to see Gren ville, who disclaimed any intention 
of asking the colonies to contribute to the debt 
incurred on account of the recent war. The revenue 

1 Beer, BrUith Cid<mial Piolicy, 176^1766y p. 267. 


CHAP, was required for expenditure necessary in the future 

only, and in America only. He could not ask the 

British taxpayer to bear the whole of this future 

American expenditure, and it was his duty to see that 

Americans contributed at least some part of it. ' " I 

am not, however," he continued, " set upon this tax. 

If the Americans dislike it, and prefer any other 

method of raising the money themselves, I shall be 

content. Write therefore to your several colonies, 

and if they choose any other mode I shall be satisfied, 

provided the money be but raised." ' ^ 

Failure In plain words, while stipulating that American 

coionui taxpayers must at least contribute to the expenses 

assemblies ^f American administration, he invited the colonial 

to suggest , ' 

an alter- asscmbUcs through their own accredited agents to 


because, discuss with him the manner in which it should be 

8ome°" raised. In the following February, when suflScient 

in th? ^^^^ ^^^ elapsed for the agents to transmit their 

political reports and receive further instructions from their 


there was principals, they met Grenville again, but confined 
themselves to arguing against the introduction of the 
1765. measure. Grenville replied, ' " I have really been 
made to believe that, considering the whole circum- 
stances of the mother country and the colonies, the 
latter can and ought to pay something to the public 
cause. I know of no better way, than that now 
pursuing, to lay such a tax. If you can tell of a 
loetter, I will adopt it." Benjamin Franklin, who had 
shortly before come over as Agent for Philadelphia, 
presented the resolution of the Assembly of his pro- 
vince, and urged that the demand for money should 
be made in the old constitutional way to the Assembly 
of each province in the form of a requisition by the 
governor. " Can you agree," rejoined Grenville, " on 
the proportions each colony should raise ? " The 
question touched the heart of the difficulty ; the 

^ Lecky, History of England in the EighUeTiih Century ^ vol. iv. p. 69. 



agents were obliged to answer in the negative, and chap. 
the interview speedily closed/^ Experience before 
and after has proved conclusively that it was impos- 
sible that they should agree. The particular problem 
with which GrenvUle was wrestUng was one which 
could never reach its final solution until there was 
brought into existence an American Government 
which could undertake not a part but the whole of 
the expenditure required for American administrative 
needs. Such a Government would not have been 
called upon to attempt the impossible task of year by 
year agreeing, whether with local American assemblies 
or with the British Government, as to the proportion 
of revenue required. The mistake lay not merely 
in seeking too much but also in seeking too little. 
Imagine, for instance, what would happen if once the 
principle were now admitted that the cost of the - 
Dominion Grovernments was to rest in part on the 
British taxpayer. Suppose that Dominion Treasuries 
were entitled as a matter of custom to rely in part on 
grants from the British Treasury, the annual dispute 
as to the proportions of the expenditure to be allo- 
cated to the British and Dominion taxpayers re- 
spectively would simply operate to poison the minds 
of the two communities against each other. Such 
grants could not be based on any fixed principle 
of justice, and could, therefore, only be settled 
temporarily as the result of hard bargaining from 
which both parties would retire with a sense of 
mutual injury. 

There is no indication that British statesmen ever British 
wished that the Imperial Treasury should cease to and^hlio- 
share the burden of American government. They ^^^^ 
had not apprehended the distinction which separated eighteenth 
American from colonial interests on the one hand, hadn^ 
and from Imperial interests on the other. Therefore ^ut*hl 

* Lecky, History of England in the EigfUeenlh Century y vol. iv. pp. 72-3. 


CHAP, it was impoBsible that they should me to the idea 

^^^^^^^^^ that purely American interests should be controlled 

distinction exclusively by Americans, as purely Canadian interests 

recognized ^^e now Controlled exclusively by Canadians. The 

between nearest approach to these truths in that age was 

provincial, * x^ ^ o 

Dominion, made by Adam Smith, when he urged that the repre- 
imperiai scutatiou of the colonists in the Imperial Parliament 
interests. ^^ ^j^^ ^^^^ alternative to independence. Smith 

had not lived in colonies and, with all his political 

insight, failed to grasp the distinction between colonial, 

American, and Imperial interests, or to see that in 

the long run American interests must be controlled 

and paid for by Americana alona Even minds so 

penetrating as those of Smith or Chatham could not 

travel more than a certain distance beyond the limits 

of their own experienca 

Butiepic- It is the subsequent experience of the British 

i®"^^^^" Commonwealth which has made these issues so 

Pariir" cl®" to-day. But colonial representation, if it 

ment could havc bccu achieved, would have opened the 

have only path by which a peaceful solution could have 

me*n on ^^^ reached and the Commonwealth saved from 

both sides gchism. It would have given the two peoples and 

to arrive , . *^ , *^ ■*• , 

at this their leaders some insight into the vital necessities 
d^^thic-'^ of each other's life, and have enabled them, there- 
tion. £^j,g^ ^Q grasp the real problem before them. No 

serious historian would now contend that the British 
people or their statesmen were anxious to assert 
or to exercise the right of taxing the Americans. 
Modern research has abundantly proved that the 
desire to sever their connection with Britain was 
limited to a very small, though very active, minority 
in America. The vast majority had been bred under 
a system which o£fered the privileges of life in a 
commonwealth without calling upon them to bear 
a due proportion of the burden involved in sustaining 
the system. Theirs was a spurious freedom, one 


wfaicli could not teach them the real cost which had chjlp. 
to be paid by some one for the benefits it brought 
them. Willingness to pay their own footing is the 
final test of a people's capacity to govern themselves. 
But the system must be such as to enable them to 
realize what eosta are properly chargeable to their 
own account The moral perceptions of the colonists 
had, indeed, been blunted by exclusion from all but 
the narrower responsibilities of national life. Their 
resistance during and after the Wu of Independence 
to any proposals for taxation advanced by Congress 
show how seriously their political morale had suffered 
under the influence of the commercial system. But 
when, having quitted the protection t)f Britain, they 
found that th^e was no one but themselves to meet 
the cost of American administration, they were at 
length brought face to face with the naked facts. 
That they were a people amenable to the discipline 
of facts, and therefore fit for self-government, was 
finally proved by their acceptance, in 1789, of an 
American Government with effective powers of 

' According to the British view, the colonies were Repre- 
virtually represented in Parliament,' for the extra- orthe*^*^ 
ordinarj reason that in England the majority had P^'-f"" 
no votes and the great manufacturing towns which imperial 
contributed largely to taxation were not represented.^ ment 

mi •j.' M J* JO.' •T>*a.* advocated 

Ine existmg system of representation m Britain byotis, 
was wholly obsolete, and needed the Reform Bill to ^Tam^^**' 
remove its anomalies. The great towns were in fact Smith, 
unrepresented until they elected members of their Orenviiie. 
own to sit in Parliament. But that was no reason 
why the colonists should also submit to taxation 
without representation. Two wrongs did not make 
one right. The whole plea was as flimsy and worth- 

> Beer, BrUish Colonial Policy, 1754^-1765, p. 297. Also Lecky, A History 
of Bn/glai^ in the EigkteeyUh Century, vol. iv. p. 77. 


CHAP, less as its modem counterpart — the plea that the 
British Cabinet virtually represents the people of 
the Dominions in the conduct of foreign affairs. 
Such arguments are never wanting to apostles of 
' a wise opportunism ' who hold that in human affairs 
all principles are always open to evasion so long as 
every one concerned will only conspire never to state 
them. From that day to this there has been an 
almost general agreement among 'practical persons' 
to regard all proposals to include American repre- 
sentatives in the British Parliament as inherently 
absurd. But the contemporary exceptions to this 
rule are somewhat striking. 'A few voices were 
raised in favour of the admission of American repre- 
sentatives into Parliament ; but this plan, which was 
advocated by Otis ajid supported by the great names 
of Franklin and of Adam Smith, would have en- 
countered enormous practical difficulties, and it found 
few friends in either country. Grenville himself, 
however, appears to have for a time seriously con- 
templated it. As he was accustomed to say to his 
friends, he had never entertained the smallest design 
against American liberty, and the sole object of his 
colonial policy was to induce or oblige America to 
contribute to the expense of her own defence in 
the same manner as Ireland. He had consulted the 
colonial agents in order that the colonies might 
themselves suggest the form of the contribution, 
and establish the precedent of being always in such 
cases consulted. He had deferred the Stamp Act 
for a whole year in order that the colonies might, 
if they chose, make imperial taxation unnecessary ; 
and if the Americans thought that their liberties 
would become more secure by the introduction of 
American representatives into the British Parliament, 
he was quite ready to support such a scheme. He 
would probably, however, have found it not easy 


to carry in England, and it was soon after utterly chap. 
repudiated in America.'^ ^^,.>^.^,^^ 

Grenville, according to Beer, was a statesman ' of orenviiie 
a scientific and unimaginative temperament, with a by^Brmsh 
distinctly legal cast of mind.' ^ Whatever his defects, conserva- 

•^ o ^ , ' tism from 

they were certainly not those of a theorist or a propoaing 
visionary. His reason for not asking Parliament to represenu- 
open its door to American representatives was not, Burke's 
it appears, that he thought that nature was opposed ?^J^^^° 
to such a scheme, but that he felt that the inveterate proposal. 
prejudice of Parliament itself stood in the way. 
What he lacked was the imagination which might 
have inspired him to overcome it. The kind of 
conservatism with which he had to contend domin- 
ated even a mind so active as Burke's. After his i766. 
fall Grenville published a pamphlet in which he 
continued to advocate the principle of his financial 
measures, together with such measures of reform as 
would make Parliament at once representative of 
Britain and the colonies. Burke's reply is worth 
quoting at length as the highest intellectual ex- 
pression of the attitude of mind in British political 
circles which closed the door to any but a violent 
solution of the American question. *Has he well 
considered what an immense operation any change 
in our constitution is ? how many discussions, parties, 
and passions, it will necessarily excite; and, when 
you open it to enquiry in one part, where the 
enquiry will stop? Experience shews us, that no 
time can be fit for such changes but a time of 
general confusion ; when good men, finding every- 
thing already broken up, think it right to take 
advantage of the opportunity of such derangement 
in favour of an useful alteration. Perhaps a time of 
the greatest security and tranquillity both at home 

^ Lecky, History of England in the Eighteenth Century ^ vol. iv. pp. 71-2. 
* Beer, BrUish Colonial Policy, rf6J^TtB6, p. 274. 


CHAP, and abroad may likewise be fit ; bat will the author 
^^ affirm this to be just such a time ? Transferring an 
idea of militarj to civil pradence, he ought to know 
how dangerous it is to make an alteration of your 
disposition in the face of an enemy. 

'Now comes his American repres^itation. Here 
too, as usual, he takes no notice of any difficulty, nor 
says anything to obviate those objections that must 
naturally arise in the minds of his readers. He 
throws you his politics as he does his revenue; do 
you make something of them if you can. Is not the 
reader a little astonished at the proposal of an 
American representation from that quarter? It is 
proposed merely as a project of speculative improve- 
ment ; not firom the necessity in the case, not to add 
anything to the authority of parliament, but that we 
may afford a greater attention to the concerns of the 
Americans, and give them a bett» opportunity of 
stating their grievances, and of obtaining redress. 
I am glad to find the author has at length discovered 
that we have not given a sufficient attention to their 
concerns, or a proper redress to their grievances. 
His great fiiend would once have been exceedingly 
displeased with any p^son, who should tell him that 
he did not attend sufficiently to those concerns. He 
thought he did so, when he regulated the colonies 
over and over again ; he thought he did so, when he 
formed two general systems of revenue ; one of port- 
duties, and the other of internal taxation. These 
systems supposed, or ought to suppose, the greatest 
attention to, and the most detailed information of, 
all their affairs. However, by contending for the 
American representation, he seems at last driven 
virtually to admit, that great caution ought to be 
used in the exercise of cdl bur legislative rights over 
an object so remote from our eye, and so little 
connected with our immediate feelings ; that in 


prudence we ought "not to be quite so ready with chap. 
our taxes, until we can secure the desired representa- ^^ 
tion in parliament. Perhaps it may be some time 
before this hopeful scheme can be brought to perfect 
maturity, although the author seems to be in no wise 
aware of any obstructions that lie in the way of it. 
He talks of his union, just as he does of his taxes and 
his savings, with as much sang froid and ease as if 
his wish and the enjoyment were exactly the same 
thing. He appears not to have troubled his head 
with the infinite diflBculty of settling that representa- 
tion on a fair balance of wealth and numbers through- 
out the several provinces of America and the West 
Indies, under such an infinite variety of circumstances. 
It costs him nothing to fight with nature, and to 
conquer the order of Providence, which manifestly 
opposes itself to the possibility of such a parliamentary 

' But let us, to indulge his passion for projects and 
power, suppose the happy time arrived, when the 
author comes into the ministry, and is to realize 
his speculations. The writs are issued for electing 
members for America and the West Indies. Some 
provinces receive them in six weeks, some in ten, 
some in twenty. A vessel may be lost, and then 
some provinces may not receive them at all. But 
let it be, that they all receive them at once, and in 
the shortest time. A proper space must be given for 
proclamation and for the election ; some weeks at 
least. But the members are chosen ; and, if ships are 
ready to sail, in about six more they arrive in London. 
In the mean time the parliament has sat and business 
far advanced without American representatives. Nay, 
by this time, it may happen, that the parliament is 
dissolved and then the members ship themselves 
again, to be again elected. The writs may arrive in 

America, before the poor members of a parliament in 

2 a 


CHAP, which they never sat can arrive at their several 
provinces. A new interest is formed, and they find 
other members are chosen whilst they are on the high 
seas. But, if the writs and members arrive together, 
here is at best a new trial of skill amongst the 
candidates, after one set of them have well aired 
themselves with their two voyages of 6,000 miles. 

' However, in order to facilitate every thing to the 
author, we will suppose them all once more elected, 
and steering again to Old England, with a good heart, 
and a fair westerly wind in their stem. On their 
arrival, they find all in a hurry and bustle ; in and 
out ; condolence and congratulation ; the crown is 
demised. Another parliament is to be called. Away 
back to America again on a fourth voyage, and to a 
third election. Does the author mean to make our 
kings as immortal in their personal as in their politic 
character ? or, whilst he bountifully adds to their life, 
will he take from them their prerogative of dissolving 
parliaments, in favor of the American union ? or are 
the American representatives to be perpetual, and to 
feel neither demises of the crown, nor dissolutions of 
parliament ? 

* But these things may be granted to him, without 
bringing him much nearer to his point. What does 
he think of re-election ? is the American member the 
only one who is not to take a place, or the only one 
to be exempted from the ceremony of re-election ? 
How will this great politician preserve the rights of 
electors, the fairness of returns, and the privilege of 
the House of Commons, as the sole judge of such con- 
tests ? It would undoubtedly be a glorious sight to 
have eight or ten petitions, or double returns, from 
Boston and Barbadoes, from Philadelphia and Jamaica, 
the members returned, and the petitioners, with all 
their train of attomies, solicitors, mayors, select men, 
provost marshals, and above five hundred or a thousand 


witnesses, come to the bar of the House of Commons, chap. 
Possibly we might be interrupted in the enjoyment 
of this pleasing spectacle, if a war should break out, 
and our constitutional fleet, loaded with members of 
parliament, returning ofiicers, petitions, and witnesses, 
the electors and elected, should become a prize to the 
French or Spaniards, and be conveyed to Carthagena 
or to La Vera Cruz, and from thence perhaps to 
Mexico or Lima, there to remain until a cartel for 
members of parliament can be settled, or until the 
war is ended. 

' In truth, the author has little studied this busi- 
ness ; or he might have known, that some of the most 
consideralble provinces of America, such, for instance, as 
Connecticut and Massachusetts Bay, have not in each 
of them two men who can afford, at a distance from 
their estates, to spend a thousand pounds a year. 
How can these provinces be represented at West- 
minster? If their province pays them, they are 
American agents, with salaries, and not independent 
members of parliament. It is true, that formerly in 
England members had salaries from their constituents ; 
but they all had salaries, and- were all, in this way, 
upon a par. If these American representatives have 
no salaries, then they must add to the list of our 
pensioners and dependents at court, or they must 
starve. There is no alternative. 

* Enough of this visionary union ; in which much 
extravagance appears without any fancy, and the 
judgment is shocked without anything to refresh the 
imagination. It looks as if the author had dropped 
down from the moon, without any knowledge of the 
general nature of this globe, of the general nature of 
its inhabitants, without the least acquaintance with 
the affairs of this country. Governor Pownall has 
handled the same subject. To do him justice, he 
treats it upon far more rational principles of specula- 




real objec- 
tion to 
ation fear 
that it 
leaid to 
in the 
House of 

tion ; and much more like a man of business. He 
thinks (erroneously, I conceive ; but he does think) 
that our legislative rights are incomplete without such 
a representation. It is no wonder, therefore, that he 
endeavours by every means to obtain it. Not like 
our author, who is always on velvet, he is aware of 
some difficulties ; and he proposes some solutions. 
But nature is too hard for both these . authors ; and 
America is, and ever will be, without actual repre- 
sentation in the House of Commons ; nor will any 
minister be wild enough even to propose such a repre- 
sentation in parliament ; however he may choose to 
throw out that project, together with others equally 
far from his real opinions, and remote from his 
designs, merely to fall in with diflferent views, 
and captivate the affections, of different sorts of 


> 1 

The whole passage is a warning against the 
dangers of eloquence. Nothing is easier for a man 
with the gift of words than to pour ridicule on a 
constructive proposal he dislikes. The ridicule once 
uttered, he drifts with fatal facility into the belief 
that it constitutes the- real ground of his objection. 
The true motive at the bottom of his mind may 
be gathered from a letter written about December 
1779 to thank Maseres, the Attorney -General of 
Canada, for a copy of the Canadian Freeholder^ 
a pamphlet answering Burke's arguments against 
colonial representation in the Imperial Parliament. 
' I confess,' wrote Burke, * I still feel in my mind 
many objections to the representation you propose. 
To make it at all practicable, you are obliged, when 
you come to seat American representatives, to alter 
exceedingly the tenure and terms on which the 
present members sit. I believe many more altera- 
tions, and some fundamental, would be necessary 

1 Burke, Wm-ks, vol. ii. pp. 136-143. 


on such an occasion.'^ What he dreaded was, in chap. 


plain words, the reform of Parliament, which the ^„^^,^^,.^^^ 
younger Pitt might have carried before the century 
was closed if the crisis of the French Revolution had 
not postponed its accomplishment till 1832. 

Had Burke exerted his influence to overcome Difficulty 
instead of to justify the conservatism of the British rejecting 
Parliament, a pedestrian statesman like Grenville J^^^t-^ 
might have been encouraffed to propose, and Parlia- ation had 

' one been 

ment have been persuaded to accept, such a measure made, 
as would have robbed of all its strength the case 
which the extremists were urging in America. Those of 
them like Adams, who consciously desired separation, 
were the merest handful. A substantial minority, as 
the event proved, were ready to risk their lives and 
fortunes rather than surrender their status as citizens 
in the British Commonwealth. Others, like Washing- 
ton himself, were pushed step by step into active 
resistance, because, to men jealous of liberty, no 
other exit from the position was opened. A frank 
invitation to send representatives would have opened 
such an exit, and until it had been tried and had 
failed, Washington and others who thought with 
him were not the kind of men to resort to violent 
solutions. Such an invitation is very difficult to 
refuse, as Scottish constituencies had found in the 
time of Queen Anne. But the most significant fact 
of all was the frenzy of apprehension betrayed by 
Adams and others who desired separation, whenever 
the proposal was mentioned. The colonies found no 
difficulty in sending agents to London; and what 
right had any one to assume that in America no 
candidates would be found to offer themselves for 
election, or that the constituencies would simply 
ignore the summons to return them ? 

* Burke's Correspondence, edited by the Earl Fitzwilliam, 1844, vol. ii. 
p.' 310. 


CHAP. It is worth considering what the result might have 

^^^7^ been if the first proposals to tax America for 
Common American purposes had been raised in a Parliament 
diacuBsion ^j^^^j^ included Americans. Apart from a few fire- 
probiem brands, the colonists merely desired to resume their 

m Parlia- ' •' . , . 

ment old freedom from all but purely colonial taxation. 
hive Even in 1773, the Massachusetts Assembly simply 
th^^y asked to be restored to the situation they were in 
^tobUsh ^^^^^^ ^^^ Stamp Act.^ The people at large were not 
ment of a in a position to grasp the reality of intercolonial 
Govern- nccds, or to scc that those needs must be paid for by 
America, somc onc. lu a couutry where the orators all took 
one side and no one was responsible for putting 
the other, it is not to be wondered at that many 
should have thought that the British were attempt- 
ing to tax Americans for the benefit of Britain. Few 
realized that the continuance of the existing situa- 
tion meant saddling the British taxpayer with the cost 
of American administration. Americans never saw 
themselves as the British saw them. No more was 
the gross outrage on colonial sentiment involved by 
the Stamp Act realized in Britain. Each party knew 
that the position adopted by the other was an 
impossible one, but neither recognized the impossible 
nature of its own. Repeated discussion in a public 
assembly by representatives of both sides could 
scarcely have failed to reveal to some of them the 
weakness of their own case. The specious theories of 
the commercial system, which enabled the Americans 
to argue as though Britain were under contract to 
furnish military defence, local as well as general, 
could scarcely have stood the ordeal of public debate. 
The old colonial system, with its underlying principle 
of contract, would never have survived so long had 
it been exposed to discussion in a Parliament which 
included spokesmen for all the communities which it 

^ Lecky, History of Engla7id in the Eighteenth Century ^ vol. iv. p. 160. 


purported to connect. Face to face with ministers chap 
in Parliament American representatives would have ^^^.^^^^^^ 
realized in time that the only Government which 
could act for America as a whole was compelled to 
grapple with the Indian problem, was compelled 
therefore to maintain expensive forces, and would ere 
long be compelled to pass laws regulating the relations 
of settlers and natives. Other intercolonial problems, 
such as boundary disputes, would have been forced on 
their notice, and they might gradually have realized 
the cKistence of American interests which lay beyond 
the scope of the colonial assemblies. They might 
also have seen the inconvenience of settling them in 
Britain and have recognized the necessity of an inter- 
colonial Government, through which Americans might 
dispose of such matters for themselves. By inter- 
course with colonial colleagues British members might 
have seen the wisdom of leaving American as well as 
colonial aflfairs to be controlled in America. Their 
American colleagues might have seen that, if 
Americans must manage American affairs, they must 
likewise meet the cost for themselves. 

An American Government once established, the Theinsti- 
process of discovering and defining the line which Dom^ion* 
divides Dominion from Imperial responsibilities would Govern- 
have begun — the process afterwards initiated with America 
the institution of responsible government in Canada. havJ ^ 
Not without a long struggle, doubtless, but yet ^^^£rt. 
without schism or bloodshed, the British Common- antdis- 
wealth might have arrived at the momentous discovery that the 
that in a state distinguished from all others by the taSffis^in^ 
fact that it exists to unite in one organic whole, not cJ)^^on.^ 
merely different classes mixed together, nor different wealth 
races living side by side within the circle of one ftinction 
frontier, but different levels of civilization and different toSfe 
communities separated by oceans — that in such a ^oTtoth"' 
unique state the control of trade is a function proper imperial, 

* *■ authority. 


CHAP, rather to the territorial parts than to the whole. 


The control of fiscal relations in a world -state is 
a territorial, not an Imperial function. The question 
is one, not of right, but of necessity and of good 
government. The experience of the British Common- 
wealth may surely be taken to have proved that 
each Dominion must shape for itself the structure of 
its own society through its own Goverument. The 
physical conditions of the United Kingdom, of Canada, 
of Australia, of New Zealand, and of South Africa 
all differ, and all therefore demand the development 
of corresponding differences in the societies inhabiting 
them. No central Government could have the know- 
ledge, nor, if it had the knowledge, the time, to adapt 
the framework of these widely sundered communities 
each to their local environment. It is the essential 
quality of freedom, which means power of self-adapta- 
tion to circumstance, that each part should be left to 
do this for itself. The condition of its power to do 
so is that each territorial community should acquire 
an organic Government adequate for the purpose. 
Such a Government has now been acquired by every 
Dominion. The title of each Dominion to control its 
own internal system of communications, its railways, 
its canals, is simply based on the fact that it, and it 
alone, can control them with effect. It is only 
necessary to imagine that such control had been 
finally left to colonial or provincial assemblies, or 
that an attempt had been made to vest it in the 
hands of an Imperial Government, however representa- 
tive, to see that this is so. The same considerations 
apply to tariffs. The creation of Dominion Govern- 
ments was largely due to the economic paralysis 
caused by leaving the control of tariffs in the hands 
of provincial and colonial governments. The attempt 
of the revolted American colonies to control tariffs 
led them to the brink of an internecine war on the 


morrow of their struggle with Great Britain. But it chap. 
is safe to say that any attempt on the part of an 
Imperial Government to frame a system of tariffs for 
all its widely sundered communities would produce 
evils far worse than a similar attempt to control 
the development of their railways from the centre. 

It is happily a matter not now in dispute between 
any parties in any part of the Empire that each self- 
governing unit must retain a final and absolute con- 
trol of its own fiscal system. This general agreement 
is not in the least affected by the rise in the last 
decade of a school which urges that each Dominion 
Government should, in framing their tariffs, accord 
preferences to each other of their .own fi:ee wilL 
Neither in the Dominions nor in the United Kingdom 
has any recognized party advocated the transfer to 
any central legislature of the ultimate power to 
modify tariffs. It has long been the accepted policy 
of the British Government to cancel any provisions 
in treaties operating in restraint of the absolute 
control of its own exports and imports accorded to 
a Dominion Government. The principle that the 
trade relations of self-governing communities must, in 
the interests of all, be controlled by each for itself is 
no longer in dispute, and it is safe to predict that it 
never will be. What is now so clear was exceedingly 
obscure in the middle of the eighteenth century, 
before the experience which has made it obvious had 
been gained. But if once there had been established 
in America a Dominion authority competent to handle 
the Indian and other intercolonial questions, it is not 
too much to suppose that the absolute necessity of leav- 
ing it to control the trade of America would in time 
have been felt. To have effected the change would, 
as- in the case of Canada, have required a struggle, 
but it is at least possible that the struggle, as in 
Canada, would have been bloodless and constitutional. 





of an 
the agency 
of a repre- 
ment a 



of their 
in an 
would in 
time have 

to the 
of the 

It is idle to suggest that, had Grenville been 
content to wait, the colonial assemblies would them- 
selves have evolved a plan for an American Govern- 
ment. Their reception of the Albany proposals and 
their whole conduct in the two wars with France 
and Britain point directly to the opposite conclusion. 
The public opinion which eventually overruled them 
and called into being the Government of the United 
States was the fruit of a tremendous experience. 
So also was the authority of ^ Washington, whose 
patriotism public opinion had learned to trust. 
Elective assemblies are as jealous of their own 
personal authority as hereditary princes, for like 
princes they are just creatures of clay. So long 
as governments are composed of men, so long will 
those men have interests of their own distinct from 
those of the people they govern, and liable therefore 
to deflect and narrow their judgment. To create 
an American Government it would have been 
necessary to evoke the legislative authority of the 
Imperial Parliament, as urged by Franklin in 1754 ; 
but a measure enacted with the approval of the 
American representatives in that Parliament would 
scarcely have led to armed resistance. 

Gradually the habit would have been formed of 
accepting the decisions of the Imperial legislature 
as final, and the necessity of an Imperial legislature 
would have been realized. With their representatives 
in that body the colonists would have developed the 
same sense of responsibility for the Commonwealth 
as their fellow-citizens in the British Isles. The 
duty of keeping the whole inviolate would have 
become just as sacred in their eyes. Any policy 
directed to that end would have been theirs no less 
than that of the British people, and must inevitably 
have associated them with the conduct of East Indian 
affairs, always inseparable from that of foreign affairs. 


Thus they would have been brought with their fellow- chap. 
citizens in Britain into touch with the widest of all 
civilized functions, that of maintaining in contact 
without conflict the East and the West. They would 
then have shared in the titanic burden of holding 
in equilibrium the diverse elements of the human 

On both sides of the Atlantic the theory that The offer 
the schism of the Commonwealth was foreordained seDtetion 
has acquired the authority of a creed. According to °^e/ded*no 
historians the business of statesmen was to recognize wore© con- 
this, and to have seen to it that the independence than 
of America was consummated with bows instead of the^^ 
with blows. They are some of them concerned to J^^™p^ 

J to enforce 

adjudicate the exact measure of blame due to each taxation 
for an issue less fertile in glory than in bloodshed repesent- 
and bitterness. That task will not be attempted **^^'^' 
here. What has been, has been, and God Himself 
cannot change the past. But since to mere human 
intelligence has been given the power to mould the 
future, the purpose of the present inquiry is to 
examine what dead men ought to have done, only 
as a clue to discovering what living men, and men 
yet to live, are called upon to do. This at least is 
clear, that a policy of opportunism availed the 
Commonwealth but little at the crisis of its fate. 
No worse consequences could have befallen if Gren- 
ville had had the genius to see that in such a crisis 
the only safety lay in recognizing and applying the 
principles vital to its existence. The only possible 
path to a solution at once final and peaceful was to 
persuade Parliament to open its doors to the colonists 
before it attempted to assert its legal powers of taxa- 
tion, and that path was never attempted. To have 
done so, indeed, would have needed the genius of 
a Pitt. Neither Grenville nor those who followed 
him had that genius. They did not see, as English 


CHAP, statesmen who faced and solved the Scottish problem 
^^^..^^^^^^ in 1707 had seen, that a constitutional operation, an 
act of political surgery, alone could avail to forestall 
the bursting of blood-vessels, or the ultimate dis- 
ruption of the body politic. Few in America and 
scarcely any one in Britain realized that a crisis 
impended, and the colonial assemblies having failed 
to advance an alternative proposal, the Stamp Act 
1764. was passed. 

From that moment onwards the game was thrown 
The stamp iuto the hauds of the small but ardent minority 
gave^ ^^^ whose couscious purpose it was to destroy the authority 
force to the ^^ *^® Imperial Government in America. If Hamp- 
Revoiu- den was right in refusing to pay ship money, despite 
secured the fact that the public safety demanded the main- 
support of tenance of a navy, the Americans were right in resist- 
WMhS^- ^^S ^^^ principle of the Stamp Act. The motive 
ton. which actuated most of the colonists in their resist- 

ance was, however, not the motive which actuated 
Hampden. It was the reluctance of the colonists to 
assume obligations which were really theirs, born of a 
system which had never compelled them to see that 
these burdens were not only theirs, but vital to their 
existence. Under the commercial system the political 
conscience of America had become dormant ; but it 
was not dead, and it is hard indeed to imagine Wash- 
ington and Hamilton and men like them, upon whom 
the ultimate success of the movement depended, 
justifying so sordid a motive for opposing the 
Imperial Government. The Stamp Act elevated 
what would otherwise have been the meanest of 
causes almost into a religious duty. The colonists 
would have been untrue to all that was best in their 
English tradition had they admitted the principle 
that a Parliament, while failing to open its doors to 
them, could assert the right to be master of their 


One wholesome effect the Act had. For the first chap. 
time it called into being a body which could in some s^.,.,,^.,,^ 
sort think even if it could not act for the colonies as The 
a whole. Nine states sent representatives to a Con- congress^ 
gress at New York, which drew up the case for the J^l^^^^ 
colonies in a statement of marked ability. They wMthe 
acknowledged not only that allegiance was due to the towards 
Crown, but likewise 'all due subordination to that unity!^^ 
august body, the Parliament of Gt. Britain.' They 17^4 
maintained, however, * that it is inseparably es^ential 
to the freedom of a people, and the undoubted right 
of Englishmen, that no taxes be imposed on them 
but with their own consent, given personally or by 
their representatives/ ' 

It was in the nature of things that assemblies so Methods 
essentially local in their capacity as those of the the^ ^^ 
colonies should have attracted to their ranks a class co^itted 
ofpoliticianespeciallyprone to particularism. The type j he major- 
is seen at its best in the character of Samuel Adams, resistance. 
* His strength lay in his vehemence, his total inability 
to see more than one side of any question, and still 
more in his subtle influence upon the Boston town 
meeting, upon committees, and in private conclaves 
. . . No view of the Revolution could be just which 
does not recognize the fact that in no colony was 
there a large majority in favor of resistance, and in 
some the patriots were undoubtedly in a minority. 
The movement, started by a few seceders, carried with 
it a large body of men who were sincerely convinced 
that the British government was tyrannical. The 
majorities thus formed, silenced the minority, some- 
times by mere intimidation, sometimes by ostracism, 
often by flagrant violence. One kind of pressure was 
felt by old George Watson of Plymouth, bending his 
bald head over his cane as his neighbors one by one 
left the church in which he sat, because they would 

^ Lecky, History of England in the Eighteenth Century, voL iv. p. 80. 


CHAP, not associate with a ''mandamus councillor." A 


— ^_ different argument was employed on Judge James 
Smith of New York, in his coat of tar and feathers, 
the central figure of a shameful procession. 

' Another reason for the sudden strength shown by 

the Revolutionary movement was that the patriots 

were organized, and the friends of the established 

government did not know their own strength. The 

agent of British influence in almost every colony was 

the governor. In 1775 the governors were all driven 

out. There was no centre of resistance about which 

the loyalists could gather. The patriots had seized 

the reins of government before their opponents fairly 

understood that they had been dropped.' ^ 

Anxiety Jcalousy of the Imperial authority was far more 

t^t' intense in the asBemblies than amongst the people at 

suppreae^ large, and the first and dearest concern of these poli- 

deuiandB ticians was to scotch any movement, such as that 

for repre- ^ «' ' 

sentation which Franklin and Otis had approved, towards 

Imperial representation in the Imperial Parliament. Otis was 

ment ^^^ ^f ^^^ three delegates sent by the Massachusetts 

^^®^^ . Assembly to the Stamp Act Congress. But he was 

success in •' ^ ^ 

doing 80. bound by their instructions ' not to urge or consent 
to any proposal for any representation if such be 
made in congress.' The destructive influence of 
Samuel Adams had already prevailed against the con- 
structive counsels of Otis, and indeed with Otis him- 
self. The Stamp Act Congress endorsed the attitude 
of the Massachusetts Assembly and declared * that the 
people of these colonies are not, and from their local 
circumstances cannot be represented in the House of 
Commons in Great Britain.' The resolution was 
repeated by the colonial assemblies like the chorus of 
a Greek tragedy, to be iterated down the centuries 
with the monotony of a parrot cry. Within three 
years it was so generally admitted as an axiom that 

1 Hart, FamuUian of the Union, 1750-^18^9, pp. 57, 64-6. 


the colonies could not be represented in London, that chap. 
the Massachusetts Assembly were able to deduce the 
desired conclusion that therefore Parliament could 
not tax the Americans. Nay more, such taxation 
without consent, * grievous as it is, would be prefer- 
able to any representation that could be admitted for 
them there.' 

When the Albany Congress was convened on the 1754. 
eve of the Seven Years' War, ministers had come British 
within an ace of perceiving that an American Union SsjSred 
was the key to the problem. The conceptions, how- c^^^ei-ciai 
ever, which underlay the commercial system were system 

iiTfc''i !•• 1 opposed to 

strong enough to lead JDritisn statesmanship m the American 
opposite direction. Its maxims, which taught that ^^^^^' 
colonies were to be united to the mother country by a 
mere calculation of convenience, pointed clearly to the 
wisdom of keeping the colonies weakened by their 
divisions and dependent on the sheltering arm of the 
Imperial Government. Burke himself was unable to 
escape the blighting influence of the prevalent creed ; 
and, writing in 1769, he speaks of the Great Empire 
which * we have to rule, composed of a vast mass of 
heterogeneous governments ... all to be kept in 
peace and out of conspiracy with one another, all to 
be held in subordination to this country.' ^ On the 
lips of Louis XIV. such words would have been 
thoroughly appropriate, for to seek security in the 
divisions of their subjects is a motive natural to 
despots. From the rulers of a commonwealth such 
language is a sign that they are getting adrift 
of principles vital to its structure and growth. If 
once their policy is vitiated by the fallacy that in- 
terest rather than duty is to be relied upon as the 
ultimate bond of society, their maxims and methods 
will begin to resemble those of a despotism. From i763. 

^ Burke, Observations on a late Fiiblicationj intituled^ the Present State of the 


CHAP, the close of the Seven Years' War the desire to 

^^^^.^^^^^ keep colonies divided became the conscious motive 

of British policy. 

Loyalist As Hoticed already, the dogma that representation 

inverting ^^ *h® colonics in the Imperial Parliament was physic- 

into^T* ^^^y impossible had been accepted in America even by 

American thosc who most dcsircd to avoid a rupture with 

ment Britain. The depth and sincerity of their loyalty to 

bySe *^^ Commonwealth prompted them, however, to 

indiflFer- work at the eleventli hour for an American Union as 

ence of 

British the one chance of avoiding a rupture. The habit now 
"JSte" formed of meeting in Congress was a step in that 
Ameri^cM ^ direction, and Galloway, the loyalist leader, evolved 
extremists, fche idea of converting Congress into an American 
Government under a British Viceroy. The scheme 
submitted by him to the first continental Congress in 
1774. 1774 was closely modelled on that put forward in 
Albany twenty years before, except that it explicitly 
made the Acts of the American legislature subject to 
endorsement by the British Parliament, an arrange- 
ment which could scarcely have been maintained in 
practice. It was this feature, perhaps, which facili- 
tated its ultimate defeat at the hands of the extremists, 
who, wanting not a settlement but a rupture with 
Britain, were determined to frustrate Galloway's 
proposal. In England opinion was at length develop- 
ing in favour of such a plan as the one remaining 
chance of avoiding a rupture, but it was not strong 
enough to oblige ministers to support the loyalist 
proposal. Congress received it favourably at first, 
and referred it to a committee for report. The 
opposition, however, led by representatives from 
Massachusetts and Virginia, were able to secure, first, 
the rescission of this ' formidable motion ' by a 
small minority, and presently its erasure from the 
minutes of the conference. The extremists had 
defeated a proposal which might have rendered 


America governable within the limits of the British chap. 


Commonwealth. Whether her people were ultimately 
to cut themselves off and to form an independent 
state, or whether they were to shaire with those of 
Britain the vast responsibilities which were crowding 
upon the original Commonwealth, was a question 
which, as in the case of the Dominions at the present 
day, would then have been suspended for future solu- 
tion. Galloway's motion would have disentangled 
two interrelated but yet perfectly distinct problems, 
that of the government of America and that of 
America's connection with Britain. Its defeat left 
them hopelessly mixed, and by securing its rejection 
the extremists in America closed the last avenue by 
which a peaceful and constitutional settlement might 
have been reached. In Britain the statesmanship 
which guided the destinies of the Commonwealth was 
that of laths painted to look like steel, which resist 
only to break, and break only to lacerate with 
splinters the hands that press them. To them the 
extremists in America owed their ultimate success in 
overcoming the profound disinclination of the majority 
to an armed conflict. 

So feeble, indeed, was the executive machinery of To begin 
the British Government that it was unable to collect colonists 
the taxes imposed by the Stamp Act ' in the face of ^^^ ^^^^ 

*• , '' * supporters 

opposition, and in 1766, Grenville having fallen, the inEngiand 
Act was repealed. To save its face, however, Farlia- the 
ment passed an Act declaring its own right to make ^t?on^® 
laws binding the colonies. The real obiection to the ^^\, 

. . •* Parliament 

Stamp Act was, that it violated the principle that a is excluded 
people fit to govern themselves must have a voice in the^nghT 
all taxes levied upon them. But the opponents of twatfo™*^ 
the Act were faced by the fact that the colonies had i"^^? 
under the commercial system always acquiesced in 
the payment of taxes which, though insignificant in 
amount, were imposed by a British Act of Parliament. 

2 B 


CHAP. With the instinct of their race to distmst principles 
and rely on precedents, the opposition in Britain as 
well as in America at first took their stand on the 
ground that, while Parliament might regulate the 
customs, inland revenue, as the Treasury would now 
term it, was the preserve of the ' colonial assemblies. 
Their champion in the House of Commons took his 
stand upon distinctions which were no less artificial. 
' Pitt, illogically and unscientifically, maintained that 
Parliament's absolute legislative authority over the 
colonies did not include the power of taxation.' * But 
events were soon to teach both parties that either 
Parliament or the colonial assemblies must be recog- 
nized as absolute in America. It was not in the 
nature of sovereignty that it could be divided 
between them both. 
Towns- Pitt's return to power in 1766 as Earl of Chatham 

did not improve matters, since in 1767 he became too 
raising ^j ^^ attend to business, and the reins of government 
from the fell iQto the hands of Charles Townshend, the Chan- 
o^terJS ^ cellor of the Exchequer. By this time the British 
taxation. Qovemmcnt were in direct collision with two of the 
^^^^' colonial assemblies over the Mutiny Act, which 
required the colonists to furnish the English troops 
with some of the first necessaries of life. Boston 
disputed this obligation at every point, and New York 
positively refused to obey. The ultimate issue, the 
question where sovereignty lay, was rapidly being 
forced to the front. Townshend determined to assert 
the authority of the British Government in America, 
and introduced a series of measures to give effect to 
his policy. By one, the governor was forbidden to 
give his sanction to any law passed by the New York 
Assembly till the terms of the Mutiny Act had been 
complied with in that colony. By another, a board of 
commissioners was established in America with largely 

1 Boer, Briti$h CoUmial Policy, 176Jhl765, p. 307. 

for raisii 


extended powers for administering the laws relating chap. 
to trade. In Townshend's view the distinction ^^ 
between internal and external taxation, upon which 
the colonies had laid such stress and which Chatham 
himself had approved, was worthless. Townshend's 
proposal, however, was to take the colonists at their 
word and to raise the revenues necessary for colonial 
defence by additional duties upon glass, red and white 
lead, painters' colours, paper, and tea imported into 
the colonies. 

The Stamp Act was the first serious attempt by The prin- 
Parliament to encroach upon the internal revenues ^vereignty 
of which the colonists were accustomed to dispose ^e^^^er 
for themselves through their own assemblies. Until to tax 

I'll! •! reoognized 

recent years the customs duties had been too easily and 
and too freely evaded to be felt, and there was ^Tp^- 
nothing to counteract the growth of l^e idea, which ^^^^ 
had long been a habit of mind with the colonists, 
that no authority was entitled to tax them but the . 
local assembly responsible to themselves. It is a 
commonplace of history that the Crown, once de- 
prived of the right to levy taxation without the 
consent of Parliament, could not continue as the 
mainspring of government. Sooner or later sove- 
reignty must be recognized to have passed to the 
organ wherein the actual power of taxation lies. 
Parliament was now to learn the unpalatable truth 
that the principle is no less true in the case of 
assemblies than it had been in the case of monarchs. 
But a few years of bitter experience were needed 
to teach the Americans themselves that ' power with- 
out revenue, in political society, is a name.*^ In 
whatever organ of the state there exists an effective 
power of taxation, there sovereignty will be found to 

Townshend, recognizing the vital importance of 

^ Alexander Hamilton, Works^ vol. i. p. 262. 


CHAP, the question at stake, resolved to put it to the test. 
^^^^^.^^^^^ The revenue anticipated from the measures he pro- 
Towns- posed amounted to less than £40,000 per annum, 
r^oive to *i^d was to be employed in paying the salaries! of the 
to^an '^^u governors and judges in America, the surplue, if any, 
endorsed to ffo towards the cost of colonial defence. Certain 

by Parlia- 

ment. Tcmissions of duty were granted to the colonies at 
Jf^Le^g-^ the same time. Townshend's policy was accepted by 
ton the Parliament, and henceforward the real issue at stake 

result. ' 

was whether the experience and will of its own 
inhabitants or those of Britain were to determine the 
destinies of America. The possibility that the safety 
of Britain and America might still be treated as a 
common interest to be controlled by the common will 
of the inhabitants of both countries faded from the 

1774. view of either party. On September 5, 1774, the 
delegates of twelve colonial assemblies met in Con- 
gress at Philadelphia. ^"Th« die is now cast, the 
colonies must either submit or triumph," were the 

1775. words of George III.' * On April 19, 1775, hostilities 
broke out at the battle of Lexington. But it is an 
error to suppose that the Americans were in any 
sense united in opposition to the claims of Britain. 
' The more closely the correspondence of the time is 
examined the more evident it will appear that, in the 
middle colonies at least, those who- really desired to 
throw off the English rule were a small and not very 
respectable minority. The great mass were indif- 
ferent, half-hearted, engrossed with their private 
interests or occupations, prepared to risk nothing till 
they could clearly foresee the issue pf the contest. 
In almost every part of the States — even in New 
England itself- — ^there were large bodies of devoted 
loyalists.' ^ 

^j^Lecky, History of £higland in the EighUenih Century^ vol. iv. p. 176. { 
^ Ibid. pp. 380-1. On this wholejsubject see Note I at end of this chapter, 
pp. 415-17. 


Fifteen months of civil war had elapsed before ohap. 
OongresB could be brought to call on tke colonists ..^^^^^ 
to renounce for ever their citizenship in the British UnwiUmg- 
Commonwealth. * Even after tke enlistment of c-^n^sts ^ 
foreign mercenaries by Grreat Britain, the diflGLculty ^gi^/u^^. 
of carrying the Declaration was very great. As late pendence. 
as March 1776, John Adams, who was the chief rendered 
advocate of the measure, described the terror and STolSer^to 
disgust with which it was regarded by a large section ^^jj^^^g® 
of the Congress.'^ Itb leaders, however, now saw of France. 
that without foreign support the colonies would 
infallibly be crushed, and turned to their old enemy, 
France. But France had no possible interest in 
supporting them unitil they were pledged to the 
dismemberment of the Briitish C!ommonwealth, and 
on July 4, 1776, Congress nerved themselves to issue i776. 
ihe Declaration of Independence. 

The step was taken just in time to revive the -The 

/»•!• • /•iiA • tj^ j_i success 

laiimg energies of the Amerix^ans and to secure the t^the 
active intervention of France, without which, as ^^Ty m^e 
Lecky has shown, the revolt would have failed, possible 
A large mmon,ty detested the revolution. A large help. 
majority were perfectly indifferent to it, or were at 
least unwiUing to make any sacrifice for it. Jealousies 
and quarrels, insubordination and corruption, in- 
ordinate pretensions and ungovernable rapacity 
divided and weakened its supporters. The extreme 
difficulty of inducing la sufficient number of soldiers 
to enrol themselves in the army of Washington, the 
difficulty of procuring cannon and gunpowder and 
every kind of military stores, the want of woollen 
clothes and of other important articles of European 
commerce, the ruin, the impoverishment, and the 
confusion that resulted from the enormous deprecia- 
tion of the currency, and finally the impossibility 
of paying for the essential services of the war, made 

^ Lecky, History of England in the MghUen^ CtnUuryj toL iv. pp. 244-5. 


CHAP, it probable that a peace party would soon gain the 
ascendent, and that the colonies would soon be 
reunited to the mother country. 

* If America had been left unaided by Europe this 

would probably have happened. A large proportion 

of the States would almost certainly have dropped 

off, and although the war might have been continued 

for some time in New England and Virginia, it was 

tolerably evident that even there no large amount 

of gratuitous service or real self-sacrifice could be 

expected. Washington himself at one time gravely 

contemplated the possibility of being reduced to 

carry on a guerilla warfare in the back settlements. 

But at this most critical period foreign assistance came 

in to help, and it is not too much to say that it was 

the intervention of France that saved the cause.' ^ 

The iThe British Commonwealth was now divided against 

Buprorted" ite^lfj fl'^d France saw her chance of perpetuating the 

^France, division and of humbling her ancient rival in the 

American dust. Congrcss, howevcr, had found the states scarcely 

claim . 1. .'. ••<• ii 

yielded by more generous m responding to its requisitions than 
Bntam. j-j^^y ^iSi^ been in responding to those of the British 
Grovemment. The resources of the Revolution were 
almost exhausted when France, though still hesitating 
to declare war, began to refresh them with secret 
loans and volunteers. Burgoyne's surrender, however, 
in October 1777 decided her, and in the beginning 
1778. of 1778 she recognized the independence of North 
America, and war W6U3 declared. The English Parlia- 
ment endeavoured to compose the struggle by sur- 
rendering everything for which they had contended. 
An enactment was passed whereby England resigned 
for ever the right to levy taxation in the colonies.^ 
The Americans, however, apart from their obligations 
under the treaty with France, were now determined 

' Lecky, History of England in the Mghteenth Century^ vol. iv. pp. 401-2. 
^ See Note J at end of this chapter, p. 418. 


on independence. Attempts on the part of England ohap. 
to prevent Europe from sending supplies to America ^^^^^..^^..^^ 
had led meanwhile to the armed neutrality of Den- Britain 
mark, Sweden, Eussia, and Holland, and to open war ^iththe^ 
with Holland in 1780. * The aspect of affairs at the SS^^fi^y of 
close of 1780 might indeed well have appalled an Europe 
English statesman. Perfectly isolated in the world, America. 
Engls^nd was confronted by the united arms of France, ence oftlie 
Spain, Holland, and America; while the Northern g^^ 
league threatened her, if not with another war, at acknow- 
least with the annihilation of her most powerful \fg^ " 
weapon of offence. At the same time, in Hindostan, i780. 
Hyder Ali was desolating the Camatic and menacing 
Madras ; and in Ireland the connection was strained 
to its utmost limit, and all real power had passed 
into the hands of a volunteer force which was perfectly 
independent of the Grovernment, and firmly resolved 
to remodel the constitution. At home there was no 
statesman in whom the country had any real con- 
fidence, and the whole ministry was weak, discredited 
and faint-hearted. Twelve millions had been added 
this year to the national debt, and the elements of 
disorder were so strong that London itself had been 
for some days at the mercy of the mob-' ^ 

Opposed by a world in arms Britain lost control 
of the sea, and in 1781 Cornwitllis surrendered to i78i. 
Washington at Yorktown. All parties except the 
King now recognized that further effort was useless, 
and on November 30, 1782, provisional articles of 
peace between England and the United States ended 
the war by conceding the independence of the American 

According to the estimates of Lecky there were The claim 
scarcely less than 100,000 loyalists expelled from the majority 
colonies after the peace.^ The struffirle in fact had to remain 


^ Leoky, Hiitory of Ettgland in the Eighteenih Cmiury, vol. t. pp. 73-4. 
^ Ibid. p. 208. 


CHAP, assumed the character of a civil war between two 

* VI 

minorities, the one determined to destroy, the other 
resolute to preserve the integrity of the Common- 
wealth. The majority, especially of the native-bom 
colonists, were not prepared to risk their lives or 
property for either cause. They were to learn, how- 
ever, that there are issues which do not admit of 
evasion. ' In January (1778) Washington issued a 
proclamation requiring those inhabitants who had 
subscribed to Howe's declaration to come in within 
thirty days and take the oath of allegiance to the 
United States. If they failed to do so they were to 
be treated as enemies. The measure was an eminently 
proper one, and the proclamation was couched in the 
most moderate language. It was impossible to permit 
a large class of persons to exist on the theory that 
they were peaceful American citizens and also subjects 
of King George. The results of such conduct were 
in every way perilous and intolerable, and Washington 
was determined that he would divide the sheep from 
the goats, and know whom he was defending and 
whom attacking.' ^ 

Presently the British commander-in-chief followed 
suit and issued proclamations which rendered neutrality 
impossible.^ The attitude of most of the colonists 
was purely negative. They did not see why they 
should be called upon to pay taxes they had never 
paid in the past, but questions of principle or 
allegiance made no appeal to them. By neglecting 
to ask their counsel and enlist their service the 
Commonwealth had failed to develop in these citizens 
any active aflFection towards itself On the other 
hand, it had never oppressed them, ' for, as Moses Coit 
Tylor has well said, the colonies **made their stand, 
not against tyranny inflicted, but only against tyranny 

^ Lodge, George WiUkvu^ton^ toL i. p. 183. 

* Lecky, History of England in the EigJiteenth Century, vol. v. pp. 21-8. 


anticipated." ' ^ Most men are wanting in the imagin- ohap. 
ation required to make them risk their lives in a ,,^^^^^^,,^^ 
struggle against tyranny until they have actually felt 
it. The one Government which really meant any- 
thing to them was their own colonial assembly, to 
which they sent members and to which they paid 
their few taxes. But it was not imposing enough to 
inspire the average colonist with the kind of devotion 
which • makes a people spring to arms who have not 
felt the sting of actual oppression. Their politicians 
might talk of * these nations/ but some community 
more truly national had to be created before the 
patriotism of the average American could be called 
into being. It was not surprising that the bulk of 
the population should claim the right to stand aside 
and leave the hotheads to settle such abstract ques- 
tions for themselves. 'Why/ they may well have 
asked, * should the question whether they were British 
or American citizens be raised at all, or at any rate 
allowed to disturb the peace ? If theorists must fight 
over it, why should the sober and practical majority 
be dragged into the struggle?' Whether their 
allegiance was due to the British Commonwealth, or 
to their colony, or to the United States of America, 
were abstract questions which they saw no reason to 
raise themselves, or to answer if raised by others. 
They simply desired to be left alone. 

Nothing is easier than for men to reason so who inexorable 
have never been called upon to consider what is the of ti^ 
state to which their final allegiance is due. The ^ 
reasoning would be just if the state were as other 
forms of association. It differs, however, from all of 
them in this, that it puts no limit to the duty which 
it may exact from each of its members. A common- 
wealth no less than an autocracy is, in the last 

^ Litertay HitUry of the Atn, Rev, i. p. 8, quoted by Beer, British 
Colonial Policy, n6Jhl7ii6, p. 290. 



CHAP, analysis, despotic in its claims. It cannot undertake 

s^,^.,^,.^^ to ask men whether they choose to enter or leave its 

service, to keep or lose their wealth, their homes, 

their wives, or their children, to live or to die. What 

it claims from its members is no less than their all ; 

and whenever two states strive for the mastery, that 

claim will be made, and woe to the man who, when 

called upon to answer two such claims, thinks to 

evade both. 

'Tis dangerous when the baser nature conies 
Between the pass and fell incensed points 
Of mighty opposites. 


No true citizenship is possible for men until they 
have chosen the state to which they belong and know 
what they choose, and for those who imagine that 
they can sleep for ever without choosing a rude 
awakening is in store. 



Seepage 'Theory and policy are the direct result of fundamental 

307. social conditions. The present colonial policy of Great Britain 

is largely based on the avowed desirability of finding homes 
within the Empire for British subjects, — "breathing spaces" 
for an expanding population, whose offshoots would otherwise 
be lost to the flag. This idea was alien to the spirit of the old 
Empire. The eighteenth century colonies were not looked 
upon as homes for a surplus population, simply because England 
was not overpopulated. The small population of Great Britain 
in comparison with that of her rival, France, emphasized the 
need for an increase in numbersv Hence, emigration was not 
encouraged, and there was no surer way to condemn a colony 
than to show that it tended to diminish the population of the 
mother country.^ 

^ See, e.g.y Political Considerations (2d ed. London, 1762), p. 52. This 
pamphlet is attributed to James Marriott In the cases of Georgia and Nova 
Scotia, military expediency outweighed this opposition, though in both 
instances the philanthropic motive was also a factor, naturally more so, how- 
ever, on the part of the individuals interested, such as Oglethorpe and Coram, 


'Consequently colonies were esteemed in the main solely OHAP. 
for commercial purposes. The ideal colony was »that which VI 
furnished commodities which Great Britain could not herself 
produce, and which did not in any way compete with the 
industry of the mother country.^ In their economic pursuits, 
mother country and colony were to be mutually complementary ; 
the aim was to create self-sufficient commercial Empire, which, 
while independent of competing European powers, would be 
able to make them economically dependent on it. To this ideal 
type of colony, the West Indies conformed more closely than 
did the continental colonies, with the exception of Georgia, South 
Carolina, Virginia, and Maryland. Newfoundland was merely 
a fishing establishment, and was highly esteemed on account 
of the fishery, which was a nursery of seamen, and hence a 
source of naval strength. The North American colonies between 
Maryland and Nova Scotia were not looked upon with favor, 
as they cctmpeted with the metropolis in a number of industries, 
especially in the production of food-stufiPs, in the fisheries, in the 
ship-building and carrying-trades. At the same time, they had 
but little to export to the mother country, which was still 
largely agricultural. According to this theory of colonization, 
the essential thing was that the colony produced commodities 
that the mother country would otherwise have to buy from 
foreigners. Hence greater stress was laid on colonies as sources 
of supply, than as markets for British manufactures. The im- 
portance of the colony as a market was not entirely ignored, but 
was* regarded as the natural corollary to the more vital fact that 
the colony furnished the mother country with raw materials not 
produced in Great Britain or with tropical products,' * 

than on the part of the government. In the ease of both these colonies, as 
also in general in all the colonies, special efforts were made to build up their 
population by encouraging immigration from continental Europe. See 6 
Geo. II, 0. 25 § vii, and Declared Accounts, Audit Office, Bundle 2131, 
Roll 2 : Sir J. Dick for transporting foreign Protestants from Holland to 
Nova Scotia. 

* Josiah Tucker, in one of his earlier books, "A Brief Essay on the 
Advantages and Disadvantages whicU respectively attend France and Great 
Britain with regard to Trade " (2d ed. London, 1750), pp. 92>95, supported 
this view. To divert the colonies from manufacturing, he favored the policy 
of encouraging them to produoe iron, naval stores, hemp, flax, silk, indigo, 
etc See aUo The Laws and Policy of England Belating to Trade (London, 
1765), pp. 33, 34, wherein it was held that colonies should produce com- 
modities that England could not raise, such as silk, hemp, pitch, tar, rosin, 
turpentine, masts, sugar, tobacco, cotton, rice, and indigo. 

2 Beer, BrUish Colonial Policy, 1764-1766, pp. 133-6. 






See page ' This system, however, did not stand by itselly but was 

^^' integrally connected with that of imperial defence. What 

Patrick Henry called the "original compact between King and 
people, stipuLe^ing protection on the one hand and obedience 
on the other," was not a mere empty formula. The right of 
the mother country to regulate imperial trade» and the general 
manner in which this right was exercised, were justified in the 
eyes of nearly all, whether British or colonial, by the fact that 
through her navy Great Britain protected the colonies in peace 
and in war. Thus, in 1756, in connection with a Massachusetts 
law for enoouraging the manufacture of linen in that colony, the 
Board of Trade wrote to Shirley : " The passing of Laws in 
the Plantations for encouraging Manufactures, which any ways 
interfere with the manufacture of this Kingdom, has always 
been thought improper, & has ever been discouraged. The 
great Expence, which this Country has been and is still at, for 
the defence and Protection of the Colonies, while they on the 
other hand contribute little or nothing to the Taxes with which 
it is burthen'd, gives it a just Claim to restrain them in such 
Attempts." ^ The same idea is also clearly expressed by Arthur 
Dobbs, when writing to the Earl of Halifax that he would do 
his utmost to stop " all such pernicious Illicite Trade Garryed 
on ^ith foreigners to the prejudice of th^ British Trade with 
these Colonies after the Immense Expence and Debt incurred 
in defence of our Civil and Religious 'Rights and liberties and 
future Safety of the Extensive British Empire on this Continent 
and Islands : and therefore the Confinement of our Trade for 
the benefit of Britain against foreigners is a Tribute we ought 
to pay to our protectors." ^ As Dobbs was^an able student of 
economic conditions, and as such had freely criticised on a 
somewhat comprehensive scale certain features *of the systtton, 
his statement is all the more significant. 

* Thus the fact that the mother country afforded protection 
gave an equitable basis to the colonial system, and justified it 
in the eyes of those to whom otherwise it would have appeared 
unfair to the colonies. During the eighteenth century, up to 
the controversies at the beginning of the revolutionary move- 
ment in 1764 and 176.5, the colonies made no complaint against 
the trade laws as a whole. During these two generations there 
were many acute political controversies, but this system did not 

1 B. T. Mass. 84, p. 328. 

« Jan. 14 1764. Am. and W.I. 214. 


figure in them at all.^ The eolonial attitude is well represented OHAP. 
by Franklin, who, in 1754, after enumerating solely those ^I 
r^idations that restricted colonial trade, said : '^ These kind of 
secondary taxes, however, we do not com|dain of, though we 
have no share in the lajdng, or disposing of them/'' As 
Franklin had an intellectual tendency toward those laissez /aire 
ideas that two decades later were embodied in Adam Smith's 
monumental work, this is certainly not a prejudiced statement. 
Similarly, in 1764, James Otis, the leader of the revolutionary 
movement in its earlier phases^ after calling attention to the 
fact that the colonies were "confined in their imports and 
exports, to the good of the metropolis," wrote : ^ Very well, we 
have submitted to this. The act of navigation is a good act, 
so are all that exclude foreign mamifactures from the plantations, 
and every honest man will readily subscribe to them." ^ 

' It should be noted, however, that a Swedish scientist who 
had tmvelled extensively in America, and had carefully observed 
many matters of interest, stated that as a result of the pressure 
of Uiis system, the colonies were less warm to the mother 
country.^ This in itself would not be surprising, as communities 
have always shown a tendency to dwell on the disadvantages 
and to ignore the benefits invtiived in a system of this nature. 
The accuracy of this observation is, however, open to question. 
The validity of the general doctrine that the mother country 
and not foreigners should supply the colonies, "provided the 
Mother Country can & does supply her Plantations with as 
much as they want" was admitted in 1762 by the Virginia 
Committee of Correspondence in a letter to the eolonjr's agent in 
London.^ Furthermore, men enjoying to the full the confidence 

' Naturally, the Molasses Act, as in no sense an integral part of the 
system, is excepted from this statement. 

' Franklin, Writings III, p. 236. 

' James Otis, The Rights of the British Oolonista Asserted and Proved 
(Boston, 1764), pp. 54, 65. Cf. aJao pp. 58, 76. 

* "Genom et 84dant tijckande sker, at Angelska Inwanarena uti Norra 
America &ro mindre warme mot ait Moderland." Kalm, £n Eesa Til Norra 
America (Stockholm, 1756) II, p. 871. As this passage, together with the 
unhistorical habit of regarding past events from the vi&wpoint of a later age, 
has furnished the basis for the cun-ent thesis that the old colonial system, 
as it existed prior to 1768, was the fundamental cause of the American 
Revolution, it is advisable to give the context. After the abore statement, 
Kalm says: "This coldness is kept up by the many foreigners such as 
OermanSf DtUeh^ and FreTieh settled here, and living among the English, who 
commonly have no particular attachment to Old England ; add to this 
Ukewisa that many people can never be contented with their possessions, 
though they be ever so great, and will always be desirous of getting more, 
and of ei\joying the pleasure which arises from changing ; and their over 
great liberty, and their luxury often lead them to licentiousness. *' Travels 
into North America (Warrington, 1770), II, pp. 264, 265. 

* Va. Mag. XI, p. 137. 


CHAP, of the colonies, even farored a more restrictire sygtem than 
VI was the prevailing one. In 1723, Francis Yonge, then the 
agent for South Carolina, and four years prior thereto one of 
the leaders of the revolution in that colony, presented a memorial 
to the Board of Trade, in which he advocated a more stringent 
regulation of colonial trade.^ Similarly, in 1755, William 
BoUan, when agent for Massachusetts, presented to the Board of 
Trade a detailed memorial on the legal defects in the acts of 
trade, with a view to their remedy, and consequently a better 
enforcement of the system as a whole. At the same time he 
advised the placing of all kinds of colonial naval stores in the 
"enumerated list"^ It is also not without some significance 
that Bollan was appointed agent, though he had been the 
prosecuting officer in the colonial Vice-Admiralty Court, and, as 
such, had for years been engaged in punishing violations of 
these laws.^ Similarly, James Otis resigned from this position 
only at as late a date as 1761, in order to attack the use of 
" writs of assistance." There seems to be no adequate reason for 
rejecting Burke's view that during the eighteenth century, prior 
to 1764, the attitude of the colonies toward the system was one 
of acquiescence. " The act of navigation," he said, ^' attended the 
colonies from their infancy, grew with their growth, and 
strengthened with their strength. They were confirmed in 
obedience to it, even more by usage than by law." ^ 

' It would even appear that instead of being a disintegrating 
factor, the system of trade regulation tended to give greater 
cohesion to the Empire. As has been pointed out, British 
policy had never been consistently directed toward creating 
a closely knit political empire. The aim was rather to create 
a self -sufficient economic empire, and, in the main, this result 
had been attained. The West Indian colonies were absolutely 
dependent on the monopoly of the British markets that had been 
accorded to them. Similarly, the prosperity of the continental 
colonies depended, in varying degrees, on the one hand on the 
British markets, or on the other hand on British colonial markets. 
The least dependent colonies were those producing tobacco ; for 
through the long period during which it had enjoyed a monopoly, 
American tobacco had gained a firm hold on the British con- 
sumer. Hence it is not surprising to find that at this time 
there was some objection in Virginia to the " enumeration " of 
its staple crop.^ South Carolina, though absolutely independent 

1 B. T. So. Ca. 1 A 86. 

' B. T. Mass. 74 Hh 51, 52 ; John Ohamberlayne, Magnee Britannitt 
Notitia, part II, p. 59. 

* Lords of the Admiralty to Sir Henry Penrice, April 19, 1742, ordering 
the appointment of Bollan as advocate of the Vice -Admiralty Court in 
Massachusetts. Adm. Sec. Out-Letters, 1054. 

* Burke's Speeches (ed. 1816) I, p. 202. » Bumaby, op, ciL p. 56. 


in 80 far as rice was concerned, relied upon the British bounties CHAP. 
on nayal stores and indigo. North Carolina was similarly VI 
affected by the premiums on tar and pitch. The middle colonies '— -^v^**^ 
and those of New England were especially dependent on those 
other British colonies that in the event of political independence 
would probably not throw in their lot with North America. 
The fisheries, the lumber industry, the provision trade, demanded 
free access to the British West Indies as well as to those of 
foreign nations. Then, only because they were British colonies, 
was the large trade to Newfoundland open to them. To some 
degree also these colonies relied on the naval-store bounties. 
In addition, the prosperity of their ship-building industry 
depended to a great extent on the sale of vessels to Great 
Britain, and on the large carrying-trade between various parts 
of the Empire.' ^ 



'In 1671, the Earl of Sandwich — one of the surviving Seepage 
Cromwellian worthies — put in writing his opinion of the New 812. 
England situation, which was based upon the many sources 
of information open to him as President of the Council for 
Plantations. New England was already at that date, he said, 
a numerous and thriving people and in twenty years was likely 
"to be mighty rich and powerfuU and not at all carefull of 
theire dependance upon old England." As a result, England 
was exposed to the following inconveniences : 1, the loss of 
her exports of manufactures to these colonies — "possibly to 
the value of £50,000 per ann. " — and moreover the likelihood 
of their competing with England in the sale of such goods in 
foreign markets; 2, the dependence of the West Indies upon 
them for provisions and '^all wooden utensills," and the probability 
that they would also furnish those islands with other manu- 
factures "that we doe,'' and so "reape the whole benefitt of 
those colonies ; " their control of the trade in masts and naval 
stores in northern America, whose later development he foresaw. 
Sahdwich realized that it was impossible "to prevent wholly 
theire encrease and arrivall at this power," but he deemed it 
"advisable to hinder theire growth as much as can be." With 
this object in view, he suggested : I, the passage of an Act 
of Parliament prohibiting emigration to the colonies without 
license from the King — "at present 40 or 50 families or more 
goinge yearely thither ; " 2, "to remoove as many people from 
New England to our southern plantations as may be, where 

1 Beer, British Cottmial Policy, 1764-1766, pp. 204-10. 


CHAP, the produce of theire labours will not be oanunodities of the 
yi some nature with old England to out-trade us withalL" 

* Thus, however significant from the standpoint of universal 
history was the colonisation of New England, however vital 
and fundamental a part it played in the transfer of European 
civilisation to the American continent, these communities were 
in the eyes of contemporary statesmen but the unfortunate 
results of misdirected efforts, since in no way did they answer 
t^e national ends of their creation. It would be difficult to 
over- emphasise the influence of New England in the genesis 
of the American Nation, but the Kngliidi government, when 
directing the movement of colonization, did not aim to create 
embryonic national states, but colonies of the plantation type 
or trading and fishing stations, whose commercial and politiod 
welfare would be intimately bound up with that of the 
metropolis. That the outcome was far different from the one 
contemplated is merely one of the innumerable historical instances 
in which forces beyond the foresight of contemporaries in the 
end turned their labors towards an entirely different result 
It was the inexorable force <rf circumstances, not choice, that 
first made England the *' Mother of Nations." The course of 
events in Massachusetts was the most potent factor in forcing 
this unwelcome rdia upon England.' ^ 




See page 'On April 10, 1676, was read before the Lcnrds of Trade a 

^^^' petition from the mercers and silk weavers of London, stating 

that formerly large quantities of silks had been shij^ped from 
England to the colonies, but that in recent years they had been 
supplied by the New England traders with goods imported 
directly from France, Italy, and other foreign countries, "so 
that yo^ pet" send little or none thither, by meanes whereof 
they are many of them totally ruined, others of them greatly 
hurt, and most of them very much prejudiced.'' In addition 
to this illegal importation of silks and stuffs, they asserted that 
the New Englanders furnished the other colonies with brandy, 
wine, oil, and other commodities, all of which by law ought to 
be shipped from En^and and pay customs iSiere, and that the 
total loss to the revenue on these accounts " would amount to 
above sixty thousand pounds per Annum." ^ 

^ Beer, Tfie Old Colonial System^ Part I. vol. ii. pp. 233-5. 
* C. O. 6/908, ff. 106-108 ; 0. 0. 1675-1676, pp. 874, 375. At thia time, 
information was also received that the New ExigUnd traders were implicated 


'Although grossly exaggerated, these statements demanded CHAP, 
further inyestigation, and the Lords of Trade summoned before ^^ 
them a number of men qualified to give information, including 
some who were to be found at the Exchange, " upon the New 
England Walk.*'^ On their appearance before the Lords of 
Trade, some of the New England merchants ''were shie to 
unfold y? mistery thereof, others pretended Ignorance, but the 
most of them declared plainly, how all sorts of goods growing 
in his Ma^'f* other Plantations were brought to New England 
on paym^ of y* duties payable by the Act for going from one 
plantation to another." With these goods, and often also with 
cargoes of logwood,^ they then sailed to all parts of Europe, 
returning with merchandise to the colonies "without euer 
calling at Old England, but when they thought iitt," so that 
wines, brandies and other commodities were sold in the colonies 
for one-fifth less than the English merchants trading according 
to law could afibrd to furnish them. This, they claimed, would 
entirely destroy England's trade to the colonies " and leave no 
sort of dependancy in that place from hence." Thereupon the 
Lords of Trade, thinking it "inconvenient to ravel into any 
of the past miscarriages, but to prevent the mischief in the 
future" resolved: 1, that all the colonial Governors should 
be obliged to take the oaths to obey the Acts of Trade and 
Navigation ; 2, that royal customs officials should be established 
in New England as in the other colonies and, "in case of 
refusall in them to admitt such Officers, that the rest of the 
Plantations should be forbid to allowe them any liberty or 
intercourse of Trade " ; 3, that the captains of the frigates of 
the navy should be instructed to seize and bring in offenders 
" that avoided to come and make their Entries here in England." ' 
But beyond preparing a new form of oath and taking steps to 
see that it was administered to the royal Governors,^ nothing 
further was done, presumably because it was thought advisable 
to await the answer of Massachusetts to the royal letter and 

Randolph's report on his mission.' '^ 

II I  

in the illegal importation of tobacco into Ireland 'which was giving the 
government so much trouble. Cal. Dom. 1676-1677, pp. 586, 587. 

1 C. O. 1675-1676, p. 877. 

' A month after this, Edward Gran field told the Lords of Trade that while 
he was in America ''seventeen sail of New England ships with logwood were 
bound to France whence they bring the commodities of that place to sell in 
the West Indies." 0. 0. 1675-1676, p. 898. 

» C. O. 5/908, ff. 108-110 ; C. 0. 1675-1676, pp. 879, 880. Of. ibid. pp. 
156, 881. 

< 0. O. 824/6, f. 53 ; No. Oa. Ool. Rec. I, pp. 227, 228 ; P. C. Cal, I, pp. 
668, 664 ; C. 0. 1675-1676, pp. 385, 389, 890 ; Cal. Treas. Books, 1676-1679, 
pp. 170, 227. 

* Beer, Tlu Old Colonial SysUm, Part I. vol. ii. pp. 262-4. 



^^^' NOTE E 


See page ' In general, the proBecuting officials greatly preferred to try 

'^^^' seizures in the admiralty courts, as they were much more likely 

to find for the Crown. In cases of this nature,^ they .acted 
without juries, which in the common law courts were prone to 
be over-lenient toward illegal traders. Some of the jurymen 
might be engaged in the same devious pursuits. Moreover, 
the social conscience of the colonies was apt to omit smuggling 
from the list of the crimes. As a result, there was slowly 
developing the opinion that^ in order to secure the effective 
enforcement of the colonial system, it would be necessary to 
establish admiralty courts in sdl the colonies and to give them 
jurisdiction over all breaches of the laws of trade and naviga- 
tion. In 16S0, Sir Henry Morgan^ sent the English govern- 
ment the details of the trial by the Jamaica Admiralty Court 
of a vessel condemned for evading the local revenue laws. 
This verdict was complained of bitterly, and strenuous efforts 
were being made to have it reversed in England.' Morgan 
insisted that the trial had been conducted fairly, and added 
that without the Admiralty Court ''the Acts of Navigation 
cannot be enforced, for it is hard to find unbiassed juries in the 
Plantations for such cases." As an example, he cited the case 
of a vessel that had come directly from Ireland to Jamaica with 
several casks of Irish soap, on account whereof it was seized. 
The case was tried in the common law court, and the jury 
brought in a verdict for the defendant on the evidence of one 
witness, who testified under oath that soap was a foodstuff 
upon which a man could live for a month and that, as it could 
be considered under the category of provisions, it could legally 
be imported directly from Ireland under the Staple Act of 

^ In 1680, in connection with a trial in the Nevis Admiralty Court for 
riot and murder at sea, the Governor, Sir William Stapleton, as Vice- Admiral, 
appointed the Judges, the indictment was made by a grand jury, and the 
prisoner was acquitted by a petty jury. C. 0. 155/1, flF. 1-28 ; 0. 0. 1677- 
1680, pp. 570, 571. 

^ He was Judge of the Jamaica Admiralty Court, but when, at this time, 
as Deputy-Governor, he assumed charge of the government, he appointed 
John White to preside in his place. C. C. 1675-1676, pp. 842-844 ; 0. 0. 
1681-1685, pp. 5, 6. 

» On this case, see 0. C. 1677-1680, pp. 343, 344, 487, 552, 667, 668, 681, 
627, 631, 639 ; P. C. Cal. I, p. 864 ; Brit. Mus., Stowe MSB. 2724, ff. 198, 
200 : C. 0. 138/3, f. 292. 


1663.^ When such fantastic fictions and tortuous evasions^ CHAP, 
could impress a jury, it is not surprising that the imperial ^^^ 
officials placed greater reliance on the admiralty courts. It 
was the futility of attempting to secure a verdict from, a jury 
in even the clearest of cases that ultimately led to the extension 
of the admiralty courts throughout all the colonies. 

* The royal governors, in their position as vice-admirals, and 
the courts established in virtue of the authority thus vested in 
them were the direct agents of the English Admiralty in en- 
forcing the laws of trade. In addition, as has been seen, the 
Admiralty was represented in the colonies by the officers of 
the men-of-war stationed there. Under the Navigation Act of 
1660, it was their duty to seize unfree ships trading to the 
colonies.^ Occasionally in the West Indies such seizures were 
made by them,^ but no especial activity was displayed until the 
'eighties, when the independent course of the New England 
traders threatened to make ineffective the carefully devised 
commercial code/ ^ 




'Instead of exacting the full duties under the law of 1733, Seepage 
the officers of the customs frequently allowed the importation of 
foreign West Indian products on the payment of small sums of 
money which, it appears in some instances, they retained for their' 
own uses. In 1763, in consequence of this abuse, such composi- 
tions for duties were absolutely forbidden. In addition, in some 
instances, the actual appointees to the positions in the customs 
service remained in England, and delegated their functions to 

^ 0. 0. 1677-1680, p. 487. • 

^ In the case of the Eatery which was tried in 1686 in the Nevis Admiralty 
Court for importing candles directly from Ireland, the defence claimed that 
there was *'an adjudged Case in Jameco that Candles Should bee taken as 
provision and the Ship Bringing them acquitted from her Seizure." C. 0. 
1/57, 61 ; ibid, 1/68, 88 i. 

' In 1668, the Council of Trade suggested, among other means for suppress- ' 
ing illegal trade, that directions be given to the ships of the navy and to 
merchant vessels to arrest any ship trading to the colonies contrary to law. 
After looking into the matter, the Privy Council (the King being present) 
declared, early in 1669, that ' ' his Majestys Shippe Of Course " have such 
oommisBions and that, if any merchant ships should desire them, ''upon 
giueing Security (with other usuall formalityes)," the Duke of York was 
authorized to grant them. C. C. 1661-1668, no. 1884 ; ilnd. 1669-1674, p. 6 ; 
P. C. Cal. I, p. 501. 

* See, e.g,, 0. C. 1669-1674, p. 233. 

^ Beer, The Old Colonial Sy^em, Part 1. vol. i. pp. 306-8. 


CHAP, deputies. The Board of Trade had in vain striven against this 
VI vicious system. As the salaries of the customs officers were in 
"^-^ ^v^-^ themselves small, and as they were still further reduced by this 
practice, some of them yielded to the temptation of augmenting 
their income by corrupt means. ^ Thus a number of posts in 
the service had become sinecures. The Commissioners of the 
Customs reported that this was one reason for the small 
revenue arising in the colonies.' ' 


See page [Once again- the indebtedness of the readers of this inquiry should 

318. be expressed to Mr. Q. L. Beer and his publishers for their courtesy in 

allowing Chapters V. and VI. of BrUM Colonial PoUey, 1754-1765,. 

to be appended in full, together with the notes and references.] 



Chap. V. * While events during the war were demonstrating the 

necessity of a more efficient system of defence, the trade of 
the colonies with the enemy directed attention to defects in 
the administration of the laws of trade and to the necessity of 
reforms therein. In accordance with the clearly defined and 
unequivocal principle of British law, all commercial intercourse 
with the enemy was absolutely prohibited in time of war.^ 

* On Sept. 17, 1763, Hutchinson wrote to Richard Jackson: "The real 
cause of the Illicit trade in this province has been the indulgence of the 
officers of the customs, and we are told that the cause of their indulgence has 
been that they are quart-ered upon for more than their legal fees, and that 
without bribery and cdrruption they must starve." Quinoy, op, eU. p. 480. 
Similarly, in 1764, James Otis wrote : *' With regard to a few Dutch imports 
that have made such a noise, the truth is, very little has been or could be 
run, before the apparatus of guardshipe ; for the officers of some ports did 
their duty, while others may have made a monopoly of smuggling, for a few 
of their friends, who probably paid them lai^ contributions ; for it has been 
observed, that a very small office in the customs in America has raised a man 
a fortune sooner than a Government. The truth is, the acts of trade have 
been too often evaded ; but by whom ? Not by the American merchants in 
general, but by some former custom-house officers, their frieinds and partizans. " 
The Rights of the British Colonists Asserted and Proved (Boston, 1764), p. 58. 
In estimating the value of this statement, the controversial character of the 
pamphlet should be taken into account. Similarly, in 1764, an anonymous 
pamphleteer said that the Molasses Act had demoralized the custom -house 
officials, who *'made a very lucrative jobb of shutting their eyes, or at least of 
opening them no farther than their own private interest required." An Essay 
on the Trade of the Northern Colonies (London, 1764), p. 20. See also Howard, 
A Letter from a Gentleman at Halifax, Newport, 1766. 

» Beer, BrUish Colonial Policy, 1754-1766, pp. 281-2. 

' In 1799, in the case of the "Hoop," Sir William Scott, later Lord 
StoweU, said : ' ' There exists such a general rule in the maritime jurisprudence 


Naturally great difficulty has always been encountered in en- CHAP, 
forcing sucb a prohibition, especially when the belligerents VI 
are mutually dependent in their economic interests.^ 

* Throughout the eighteenth century, the British government' 
had found it almost impossible to prevent the English colonies 
from trading with the temporary enemy in America. In the 
War of the Spanish Succession, a large trade was carried on 
Mrith the French and Spanish colonies.^ The trade with Spanish 
America was found so profitable to the Dutch allies that, owing 
to the pressure of the English mercantile classes. Great Britain 
was obliged to legalize it under certain limitations, though not 
waiving the principle involved.^ In the War of the Austrian 
Succession, the commercial relations of the British colonies with 
the French West Indies^ were of so extensive a nature, that 
Admiral Knowles declared they had resulted in the failure of 
English naval operations in the Caribbean Sea.^ 

' The difficulty of putting a stop to this intercourse arose, in 
great degree, from the economic relations existing between the 
French West Indies and the British continental colonies. The 
French islands were not self-sustaining; they devoted their 
energies to the production of sugar, coffee, indigo, and similar 
commodities, and imported a large proportion of their food-stuffs 
from the British colonies. Similarly, French Cape Breton 
depended to some extent also on the English colonies. At the 
same time, Ireland was a large exporter of provisions, especially 
of pork and beef, and it was with supplies purchased in this 
market that French fleets and armies were in part at least pro- 
visioned and the West Indies fed. Thus two great sources of 

of this country, by which all trading with the public enemy, unless with the 
permission of the sovereign, is inteixlicted." Robinson (Philadelphia, 1800) 
I, p. 167, and J. B. Scott, Cases on International Law, pp. 521, 522. See 
F. de Martens, Traits de Droit International (trans, by A. Ldo) III, pp. 200, 
201 ; T. A. Walker, A Manual of Public International Law, p. 121. 

^ Even in so bitter a struggle as the American Civil War, there was 
considerable trade between the belligerents. J. C. Schwab, The Confederate 
States of America, pp. 259-266 ; J. F. Rhodes, History of United States, III, 
pp. 649, 650 ; V, pp. 274, 275. 

'■^ O/.f e.g.f Instructions to the colonial governors. May 2, 1710, and 
Sunderland to Hunter, May 9, 1710. Am. and W.I. 886. 

' Nottingham to the colonial governors, Feb. 23, 1704, and to Board of 
Trade, Feb. 24, 1704. Am. and W.I. 385. C/. Am. and W.I. 1 paasim, and 
Ibid, 6, no. 10. See also 6 Anne c. 87, § xvii. 

* Cf, Am. and W.I. 2, no. 890 ; Ibid, 14, no. 85. 

^ At a hearing before the Board of Trade on Dec. 6, 1750, Admiral Knowles 
said: "Every Captain of his Squadron knows that these North American 
Vessels supplied the French with provisions otherwise he shoiUd certainly have 
taken Martinique. " At one time, he said, there were at Hispaniola 42 British 
colonial veaaels "with fictitious Flags of Truce." B. T. Journals 58. See 
also B. T. Plant Gen. 16 P 18. 


CHAP, proviaions, on which France depended, were in British hands. 
VI At the outbreak of difficulties with France in 1754, the British 
government clearly recognized the immense advantage arising 
therefrom. Without Irish and American provisions, the French 
West Indies would suffer severely, and at the same time, France 
would be unable to refit her men-of-war in America and under- 
take privateering expeditions. It is interesting and important 
to see how Great Britain used this economic weapon against the 
French, and to what extent the colonies aided or hampered the 
policy adopted by the mother country. 

* Early in 1755, Dinwiddle wrote from Virginia to the Board 
of Trade that the French forces in Canada were chiefly supplied 
from Pennsylvania, New York, and the Northern colonies ; that 
flour, beef, pork, and other provisions were taken to Cape 
Breton, where they were exchanged for French rum, sugar, 
and molasses. From Louisburg these provisions were sent to 
Quebec, and thence to the Ohio Valley. He suggested as a 
remedy for this "unjustifiable trade," which supported the 
French Ohio expedition, that colonial provisions be put in the 
" enumerated list," thus prohibiting their exportation to foreign 
parts, and also that Irish provisions be placed under the same 
regulations. Such steps, he pointed out, would paralyze the 
military schemes of the French and would prevent their fitting 
out a fleet.^ At the meeting of the Board of Trade on Aprfl 9, 
1755, this letter from Dinwiddie was read.^ War with France 
had, however, not yet been declared, and consequently this 
trade could not be stopped on the principle of no trade with 
the enemy. On the other hand, the Board of Trade had always 
questioned the legality of any trade whatsoever between the 
English and French colonies in America. In 1717 ^ it had sent 
a circular instruction to the colonial governors to prohibit all 
trade with the French settlements, as contrary to the Treaty 
of Neutrality of 1686 between France and England.* This 
treaty guaranteed to each power an exclusive trade with its 
colonies, and allowed the French and English Crowns respectively 
to seize ships of the other nation attempting to invade this 
monopoly. The Board of Trade's interpretation of the treaty 
was clearly an untenable one, and although it had led to some 
difficulties, chiefly in the Bermudas,^ it had not been insisted 

* B. T. Va. 25 W 183. See also Dinwiddie to Secretary Robinson, Jan. 20, 
1755. Am. and W.I. 68. This is confirmed by DeLancey, Aug. 9, 1755. 
B. T. N.Y. .32 Kk 62. '^ B. T. Journals 63. 

» B. T. Bermuda 32, p. 830. Cf. B. T. N.J. 13, p. 447. 

* This regulation was incorporated in the voliuninous instructions given 
to the governors. See, e.g.^ Instructions to (rovemor John Hart, 1721, § 94. 
B. T. Leeward Isles 63, p. 70. 

^ B. T. Bermuda 12 L 12, 13, 15 et passim; Am. and AV.I. 49, nos. 179, 
184, 273, 278 ; Ibid. vol. 620. 


apon.^ On receipt of Dinwiddie's despatch, the Lords of Trade CHAP. 
again reirerted to this interpretation of the treaty of 1686, but VI 
as they were in doubt^ the opinion of William Murray,^ the 
attorney-general, was asked. He correctly said, that "it was 
not the Intent of the Treaty to provide, nor could it be provided, 
that either of the Contracting Powers should seize the Ships or 
Goods of their own Subjects for contravening the said articles," 
and that consequently the trade in question was not illegal and 
could not be stopped except by some positive law.^ Hence, 
until the outbreak of formal war with France, when the 
prohibition of all trade with the enemy would automatically 
take effect, or until -Parliament had passed some law governing 
the matter, nothing could be done to prevent a patently injurious 
commerce, unless the colonies of their own accord legislated 
against it, or unless recourse were had to arbitrary military 

'Already toward the end of 1754, the naval and military 
commanders had been instructed to put a stop to " the illegal 
correspondence'' between the French and English colonies, to 
prevent such " dangerous Practices," which supplied the French 
with provisions and warlike stores.^ These instructions were 
enforced,^ and were renewed the following year a few days after 
Murray had given his opinion that the trade was not illegal. 
Boflcawen received orders to prevent this trade,^ and the secretary 
of state wrote to Braddock to observe particularly this clause 
in his instructions, especiaUy as regards the inhabitants of 
Pennsylvania and New York who were reported to be ''most 
notoriously guilty of supplying the French with Provisions."^ 
The illegality of these instructions is obvious, as no formal war 
existed and as no British law prohibited this trade. This step, 
however, aroused no opposition, since nearly all the colonies, 
largely on their own initiative, had themselves adopted measures 
to prevent the French from being supplied with provisions. 

' A cessation of trade with the French unquestionably meant 
a great sacrifice on the part, of the colonies, but on the other 
hand they recognized that France hemmed them in, and that 

^ In very many documents this trade is roferred to as illegal, thus increasing 
the number of undifferentiated references to illegal trade, and further adding 
to.the difficulty of estimating the extent of the violations of the laws of trade 
and navigation. ' Better known as Lord Mansfield. 

' B. T. Journals 63, April 11, 1755. 

* Commodore KeppeVs Instructions, Nov. 26, 1754, and Art. 10 of 
Braddook's Instructions. Am. and W. I. 74. 

^ B. T. Nova Scotia 15 H 257 gives a detailed and interesting account of 
the seizure of a Boston vessel by a man-of-war for illicit trade with the French 
at Louisburg in 1754. 

* Art. 8 of the secret instructions to Boscawen, April 16, 1755. Am. and 
W.I. 74. 

7 Sir Thomas Robinson to Braddock, April 16, 1755. ibid. 




their expansion westward was contingent on the expulsion of 
this power from America. It was patent that while the sale 
of provisioi;is to Canada enriched some individuals and the 
colonies as a whole, it tended in the end to their destruction. 
If on the one hand the sacrifice demanded was greats on the 
other still greater was the danger in strengthening to any degree 
whatsoever the position of France. Accordingly, the colonies, 
to a large extent on their own initiative, adopted measures to 
prevent the exportation of supplies and warlike stores to the 
French. In 1755, Dinwiddie laid an emhargo on provisions in 
Virginia, solely as an example to the other colonies, no supplies 
being exported from that colony to the French.^ Similarly, in 
the same year, Pennsylvania prohibited the sailing of any vessel 
with provisions unless bond had been given to carry them to a 
British port.^ Massachusetts likewise passed several acts of this 
nature.* In 1755, New York interdicted the exportation of 
provisions, naval or warlike stores to Cape Breton or to any 
other French possession,^ and Maryland passed a law forbidding 
all trade with the French and their allies.^ These and other 
colonial laws, together with the embargo that was laid in Ireland, 
Shirley wrote, ^ have greatly distress'd the French at Louisbourg, 
& the Effects must be soon felt in all their Settlements in North 
America.'' ® 

'In the following year, on the declaration of war with 
France, all trade with the French colonies became by this 
very fact illegal, and ships engaged therein were, together 
with their cargoes, liable to seizure and confiscation. In 
June, 1756, full instructions to this effect were sent to the 
colonies."^ As pointed out, a number of them had already 
passed laws forbidding this trade; these laws were con- 
tinued and strengthened, and in general similar measures were 
adopted by the other colonies.^ By a perpetual law. New 

1 B. T. Va. 26 W 170. « B. T. ProprietiM 19 V 156. 

' Mass. Laws, 18 Geo. II, c. 3, c. 4, and c. 8 in B. T. Masa 74. See also 
Mass. Acta and Resolves. * B. T. N.Y. 82 Kk 62. 

• Sharpe to Henry Fox, July 17, 1766. Am. and W.I. 70. 

> Shirley to Robinson, June 20, 1766. Am. and W.I. 68. This is con- 
firmed by DeLancey. B. T. N.Y. 32 Kk 62. See also Shirley to Robinson, 
Aug. 15, 1766. Am. and W.I. 82. 

7 B. T. Journals 64, May 20 and June 1, 1766 ; B. T. Plant. Gen. 16 O 

« B. T. Journals 64, Aug. 5, 1756 ; Dobbs to Henry Fox, July 12, 1756. 
Am. and W.I. 70 ; Fitch to Henry Fox, Sept. 29, 1756. Ibid. ; B. T. Journals 
67, p. 86. On March 13, 1756, Henry Fox addressed a circular letter to the 
colonial governors stating that *Hhe King would have you recommend it in 
the strongest manner to your Council and Assembly, to pass effectual Laws 
for prohibiting all Trade and Commerce with the French, and for preventing 
the Exportation of Provisions of all kinds to any of their Islands or Colonies. " 
N.J. Col. Doo. VIII, Part II, p}). 211, 212 ; N.Y. Col. Doc. VII, p. 76. 


Hampshire imposed a death penalty on all guilty of trading cHAP. 
with the French.! VI 

^ The prohibition of all direct trade with the French could not, 
however, give Oreat Britain any marked advantage over the 
enemy, as provisions could still be legally shipped from Ireland 
and from the American colonies to the islands of the neutral 
powers in the West Indies, whence they could be transported to 
the French colonies. This trade centred in the Dutch commercial 
emporia, Cura^oa and St. Eustatius, and tended to neutralize 
the advantage derived from the control of the sources of supply 
in Ireland and America. Connecticut officially informed the 
secretary of state that it was probable the French would be 
supplied from Ireland by way of St. Eustatius.^ The governor 
of New York, Sir Charles Hardy, gave more specific information 
regarding this trade,^ and at the same time sought to induce the 
neighboring colonies to desist from engaging therein. He took 
measures to prevent the direct or indirect exportation of pro- 
visions and warlike stores from New York to the French, but he 
was unable to persuade the governors of the other colonies to 
adopt the same expedients. This, as he pointed out, was fatal 
to lus purpose, for it was useless to enforce such a prohibition in 
New York if its neighbors were not placed under the same 
restrictions.^ This vitally important question seriously engaged 
the attention of the British government.^ On receipt of the 
information, the Board of Trade imparted it to the secretary of 
state.^ The Lords of the Admiralty also wrote to Fox that 
preparations were being made to ship large quantities of supplies 
from Ireland to France in neutral ships in order to provision 
her navy and the French West Indies, and they suggested as 
a remedy that an embargo be laid in Ireland.^ The military 
situation was a most critical one, and the government could not 
afford to abandon any advantage that Great Britain had in the 

* B. T. New Hampahire 4 C 8. Of, Wentworth to Fox, Sept. 2, 1766. 
Am. and W.I. 70 and B. T. New Hampshire 3 B 86. 

« Fitch to Fox, Sept 29, 1756. Am. and W.I. 70. 

» B. T. Journals 64, Aug. 6, 1756. 

< Hardy, Oct. 13, 1756. B. T. N.Y. 83 LI 66. Cf, also Fox to Hardy, 
Aug. 14, 1756. Am. and W.I. 76. » B. T. N.Y. 88 LI 55. 

« Board of Trade to Henry Fox, Aug. 5, 1766. B. T. Plant Gen. 15 O 
143. Ou Aug. 14, 1756, Henry Fox wrote to Hardy that the shipping of 
provisions from Ireland to the Dutch West Indies, to which Hardy had called 
attention, would be looked into, and would be discouraged as much as was 
ixwsible, but that it would be difficult to act in this ])articular, "and perhaps 
be found impracticable.'* Am. and W.I. 75. 

^ Admiralty to Henry Fox, Sept 16, 1756 : In order that this measure 
may be attended with as little inconvenience as is possible, "we humbly 
propose that the king will allow us to direct the commissioners for victualling 
to contract in Ireland for provisions for victualling the fleet in the Mediter- 
ranean." B. T. Pbnt Gen. 15 O 143. 


CHAP, struggle with France. The expressed intention of the govern- 
VI ment was to distress '* the French, particularly in North America 
by a Want of Provisions " ; ^ in order to attain this end, the ex- 
portation of provisions from Ireland and the American colonies 
to the Dutch possessions in the West Indies had to be stopped. 
Accordingly, Fox instructed the Duke of Devonshire, then 
Lord-Lieutenaut of Ireland, to lay an embargo on all ships and 
vessels bound with provisions from Ireland to neutral ports, and 
at the same time he forwarded to the Commissioners of Trade 
the king's commands that they should send similar instructions 
to the colonial governors in America.^ On October 9, 1756, 
the Board of Trade sent a circular letter to the colonial 
governors instructing them to lay an embargo on all ships and 
vessels clearing with provisions from any place in the colonies, 
unless they were bound for some British colony. In that case 
bonds were to be demanded obligating these vessels to go to the 
destination indicated in their papers.^ This action supplemented 
that of the commander-in-chief in America, Loudoun, who had 
already, on August 20, 1756, written to the colonial governors 
requiring them '4n Consequence of his Majesty's Positive Orders'' 
to prohibit the exportation of provisions, because the French 
might be supplied thereby, and because, in addition, the possibly 
ensuing scarcity on the continent might hamper British military 

' These instructions received the cordial support of a number 
of the colonies. Connecticut had, even before the receipt of the 
Board of Trade's letter, passed an act obliging all masters of 
vessels to give bond not to land provisions except in a British 
port, and had in addition laid an embargo on all shipping in that 
province.^ The colonies were, however, not a unit in obeying 
these orders. Thus, despite the protest of the governor, the 
Pennsylvania legislature adhered to a bill ** confining the 
Restraint & Prohibition to America only, leaving Vessels at 
Liberty to sail to any Neutral Ports in Europe."* Violations 
of the instructions were frequent, and as in addition the 
embargo in Ireland was not effective,^ the French continued 

> Henry Fox to the Board of Trade, Oct. 2, 1766. B. T. Plant. Gen. 15 

« B. T. Plant. Gen. 15 143 ; B. T. Journals 64, Oct. 1 and 8, 1756. 

* B. T. Plant Gen. 44, p. 128. * Am. and W.I. 88. 

* B. T. Prop. 20 W 2. For the attitude of Maryland, see B. T. Prop. 19 
V 195 ; for New York, B. T. N.Y. 33 LI 83, and B. T. Journals 65, Feb. 15, 
1757 ;. for New Hampshire, B. T. N.H. 8 B 86 ; for Massachusetts, Spenoer 
Phips to Henry Fox, Dec. 21, 1756. Am. and W.I. 70. 

* William Denny to Thomas Penn, AprU 8, 1757. Am. and W.I. 71. See 
also B. T. Prop. 20 W 8. The assembly claimed that a cessation of this 
trade would ruin Pennsylvania. 

^ On July 20, 1757, Admiral Frankland wrote to Governor Thomas of the 
Leeward Islands : " It is Notorious that in the last Cork Fleet £ight Vessels 


to be supplied with food-stuffs. Thus, in the summer of 1757, CHAP, 
there was a scarcity of provisions in the Leeward Islands, due VI 
on the one hand to the embargo in the continental colonies, 
and on the other to the fact that these colonies had sold 
their supplies to the French by way of St. £ustatiQs.^ Hardy 
reported that a cargo of flour and provisions was shipped from 
Antigua to Cura^oa, the flour being concealed in claret casks.^ 
Such violations were, however, more frequent in. the continental 
colonies.^ Rhode Island especially paid no respect to the orders 
from England.^ Loudoun wrote to Pitt that the traders in this 
colony were '* a lawless set of smuglers, who continually Suply 
the Enemy with what Provisions they want, and bring back 
their Goods in Barter ior them." ^ 

*The Board of Trade had evidently anticipated that these 
instructions, even though issued expressly on the authority 
of the Crown, would not be sufficient At their meeting on 
January 12, 1757, the Commissioners discussed this matter, 
and agreed on the necessity of an act of Parliament that 
should prohibit the exportation of all food- stuffs (except fish 
and rice) from the British colonies in America.® James Oswald, 
a member of the Board and also of Parliament, was instructed 
to bring this matter to the attention of the House of Commons.^ 
The suggestion met with the approval of Parliament, which in 
1757 passed an act prohibiting, during the war with France, 
the exportation of all provisions (except fish and roots, and rice 
under the already existing restrictions)^ from the colonies to 
any place but Great Britain, Ireland, or some British colony. 

Laden with ProviBioDB dropped the Convoy and went into that Island (St. 
fiuBtatins) for the Fi'cnch Market" B. T. Leeward Isles 82 Gc 6. 

> Ibid. 

« Sir Charles Hardy to Pitt, March 11, 1757. Am. and W.L 71. See also 
B. T. Journals 86, April 20, 1757, and B. T. N.Y. 33 LI 97. 

» Hardy to Board of Trade, June 14, 1767. B. T. N.Y. 34 Mm 8. See 
also affidavits. Ibid. Mm 9-12. 

* DeLancey to Board of Trade, June 8, 1767. Jbid. Mm 8. 
» May 30, 1757. Am. and W.I. 86. 
' The subject was naturally considered of utmost importance. Thus, on 

Feb. 4, 1757, the Board of Trade wrote to Charles Pinfold, the governor of 
Barbados : ''The opportunity, which the Enemy has had in time of War in 
supplying themselves with Provisions by means of the Trade carried on in 
that Article from Ireland and our Colonys to the Dutch, and other neutral 
settlements, has long been the subject of much complaint and the source of 
great Mischief and Inconvenience, to remedy which a Bill is now under the 
Consideration of Parliament, which We hope will prove effectual" B. T. 
Barbados 55, p. 311. The various militaiy commanders were careftilly 
instructed to carry oat this policy. See, e.g.y § 6 of draft instructions to 
James Abercromby, Dec. 80, 1767. Am. and W.I. 76. 
' B. T. Journals 66, Jan. 12, 1757. 

* Rice could be exported directly only to Great Britain and her colonies 
and to ports in Europe south of Cape Finisterre. 


CHAT. The penalties for vioUting this law were oonfiscation of the 
VI ship and cargo, heavj fines, and also possible impiisoument for 
the master of the ship.^ 

' In order to make this policy of distressing the French m<Mre 
effective, Parliament in the same session also prohibited for a 
limited time the exportation of grain ^ and its manufactured 
products from Great Britain and Ireland except to the British 
colonies.^ This restraint on the £nglish producer did not, how- 
ever, imply the same economic sacrifice as did that laid on the 
colonies, because England was becoming a less and less important 
factor in the grain export trade. In fiict. Parliament^ at this 
very time sought even to encourage the importation of food-stuffs 
into Great Britain. 

' In addition to the general rule forbidding all trade with the 
enemy and the act of Parliament of 1757 forbidding the exporta- 
tion of food-stuffs from the colonies to foreign ports, temporary 
general embargoes were at various times laid in the colonies, 
partly with the object of preventing the French from being 
supplied, and partly for military purposes. In 1757 Loudoun 
laid such an embargo, which, however, had to be raised on 
account of the failure of the crops in Great Britain and Ireland, 
and the consequent need of provisions there.^ The follow- 
ing year also, Abercromby, acting on instructions from Pitt, 

^ A fine of twenty shillings for every bushel of grain and every pound of beef, 
pork, and other victual, 'Mvhioh said penalties and forfeitures shall be re- 
covered in the high court of admiraltyi or any other chief court of civil or 
criminal jurisdiction, in such respective colonies or plantations." The master 
knowingly guilty could bo imprisoned for three month& Bonds had to be 
given, in treble the value of the cargo, that it would be taken to its declared 
destination. 30 Geo. II, c. 9. As England was anxious to secure the 
neutrality of Spain during the war, on Aug. 9, 1757, an order in council 
was Issued allowing the inhabitants of New York, during the Crown's 
pleasure, to export provisions to St. Augustine. B. T. Journals 66, Nov. 3, 

^ Corn, malt, meat, flour, bread, biscuit, and starch. 

^ 30 Geo. II, c. 1, continued to Dec. 24, 1768 by 31 Geo. II, c. 1. 

^ 30 Geo. II, c. 7, continued to Dec. 24, 1758 by 81 Geo. II, c. 1. See 
also 30 Geo. II, c. 14. The import duties on com and flour were discontinued 
for a limited time ; in addition the Navigation Act was relaxed, allowing com 
to be imported in neutral ships. 30 Greo. II, o. 9, § xiv ; B. T. Plant. Gen. 44, 
p. 180 ; B. T. Journals 65, March 2, 1757. 

° Holdemesse to Loudoun and to colonial governors, both May 2, 1757. 
Am. and W.I. 75 ; N.J. Col. Doc. VIII, Part II, p. 248. In future such em- 
bargoes were not to apply to ships bound for Great Britain and Ireland. 
Eight sliips of Snell k, Go. had been held at New York and Philadelphia, and 
were not allowed to proceed to Ireland with their cargoes of wheat and flour. 
B. T. Plant. Gen. 44, p. 184 and Drid. 15 O 153. This embai^ was laid 
by Loudoun mainly with the object of obtaining suflicient transports to move 
his troops to Halifax. Sir Charles Hardy to John Clevland, May 3, 1757. 
Adm. Sec. In-Letters, Bundle 481. 


adopted the same expedient, preparatory to the Louiaburg OHAP. 
expedition.^ VI 

* Aa the act of Parliament of 1757 did not prohibit the ex- ^— v-^i*-^ 
portation of beef and pork from Irehrnd to neutral porte, and 

as these were the chief food-stuffs in that kingdom, at vaiious 
times also recourse was taken to embargoes there.^ 

' These various measures to prevent France from getting chap. Y I. 
Irish and American provisions were by no means fully effective. See page 
In 1757, a number of vessels th&t had sailed from Ireland with ^^^' 
provisions for the West Indies parted from the convoy, and 
took a large quantity of beef to St. Eustatius. This was 
immediately sent to the French in Martinique and Santo 
Domingo, and enabled them to fit out their vessels.^ In 1758 
it was stated that no less than fifty to sixty thousand barrels of 
provisions had gone or were going from Ireland to this Dutch 
colony,^ their ultimate destination being the French West 

* In the British colonies, both in the West Indies and on the 
continent^ similar practices jHrevailed. The temptation to 
engage in this trade was very great In time of peace the 
foreign West Indies furnished a large market for the surplus 
agricultui*al products of the British oontinental colonies, and 
also provided them with cheap molasses, which, when converted 
into rum, was a most important factor in the fisheries, in the 
slave trade, and in the fur trade with the Indians. In time 
of war this normally profitable trade became even more lucrative. 
The French West Indies suffered from a scarcity of provisions, 
and hence were willing to pay high prices for them.* On the 
other hand, owing to the war, they had great difficulty in 

^ Pitt to Abercromby, Jan. 11, 1758. Am. and W.I. 76. Abercromby to 
Pitt, May 27, 1758. Ibid.%7. See also /&u2. 71 /Mumm, and B.T. Mass. 76 li 47. 

' Bedford Correspondence II, p. 369 ; Pitt Oorrcspondence II, p. 79 ; 
Calendar Home Office Papers, 1760-1765, nos. 484, 498, 522, 526, 552, 
559, 579. 

' William Wood (CommiasioiieTs of Oostoma) to John Olevland (Lords of 
Admiralty), Oct. 28, 1757. Adm. Sec. In-Letters, Bundle 8866. These were 
14 ships with 20,000 barrels of beef. 

^ An intercepted letter from Waterford, Ireland, dated Jan. 26, 1758. B. T. 
Leeward Isles 32 Cc 24. 

' Oovemor Thomas to Board of Trade, May 18, 1758. B. T. Leeward 
Isles 82 Oc 22. On Jan. 7, 1758, Governor Pinfold of Barbados wrote to the 
Board of Trade, that the French obtained provisions from Ireland and St. 
Eustatius. He also added : ''I have good Intelligence that in Cork Nmnbers 
of Dutch Vessels lade with Beef & publiokly dedare it is to be carried to the 
West Indies, all of which is destined for the French Islands. " K T. Barba- 
dos 35 Ee 16. 

" From St. Eustatius, May 12, 1757, Samuel Wells wrote to his father, 
Francis Wells, at Boston, that **the voyages from America now to these 
Islands must be very profitable to those that voyage in (them.) at present 
every kind of Northern produce bear a great rate." B. T. N.Y. 34 Mm 14. 


CHAP, marketing their produce, Buch as sugar and molasses, and hence 
VI were forced to sell them at moderate prices.^ 

' These conditions were the direct results of British sea power, 
which seriously interfered with the communications between the 
metropolis and the colony. France could not send provisions 
to the West Indies, and they, in turn, could not send 
their produce to the European markets. To a large extent, the 
colonies neutralized the advantages arising from British naval 
activity, both supplying the French colonies with the sorely 
needed provisions,^ and also furnishing a market for their 

'In the opening years of the war the colonies carried on this 
trade in two ways, either directly with the French, or indirectly 
with them through some neutral port in the West Indies.^ 
The direct trade was carried on with the connivance of the 
French officials, as it furnished them with otherwise unobtainable 
supplies. The colonial ships engaged in it were not seized 
by the French cruisers and privateers, because in general, they 
had "Lycences from the French Governors who refused them 
to none that applied for them." ^ In addition, a large number 
of British colonial vessels engaged in this trade were protected 
by passes from the governors, authorizing them to go to the 

' Extract from a letter dated Philadelphia, December, 1759, showing that 
the price of French sugar was very low, muscovado at 8a. to 10s. a hundred- 
weight, white at 15«. to 25s. a hundredweight. B. T. Plant. Gen. 16 P 20. 
Of. also B. T. Jam. 37 Oc 19. 

^ A letter from the French West Indies in 1758, which had been taken in 
a French prize, clearly shows this : ' * Nous sommes tous les jours k la veiUe de 
manquer, sans le secours de nos Ennemis nous serons obligez de vivre oommo 
vous nous I'annonoez avec ce que nous foumit la colonie. La Condition est 
dure, et Ton n'y resisteroit pas ; nous S9ayon8 bien qu'il est impossible au 
Commerce de France de nous seoourir, tout est abandonne et La Cour ne pense 
pas k nous." B. T. Va. 26 X 41. 

' On April 18, 1757, Governor William Popple of the Bermudas wrote to 
the Board of Trade, that a great many sloops built in the Bermudas were 
sold to the Dutch West Indies, and that the British register was transferred 
with the vessel. Thus the Dutch would be able to get provisions in the 
British colonies for the French. ''Even now, thd Bond is given to Land 
Provisions at some English Settlement, the Dutch can go to Each English 
Settlement for once, give in Bond, and never return there again." B. T. 
Bermuda 19 51. An act of Parliament, 15 Geo. II, c 31, § 1, was directed 
against such practices, yet there may have been some evasion of this law, 
with the result pointed out by Popple as probable. 

* Sharpe to Pitt, Feb. 27, 1761. Am. and W.L 78. Also in Sharpe Cor- 
respondence II, pp. 490, 491, and Pitt Correspondence II, p. 401. In 1759 
Admiral Cotes pointed out that there was some danger in this trade, as a 
French frigate, newly arrived from Europe and unacquainted with its 
nature, had burnt nine North American vessels. The captain of this frigate 
was censured by the governor of Cape Fran9ois for stopping the only channel 
by which they were regularly supplied with provisions. R T. Plant Gen^ 
16 P 20. 


French colonies, ostenBibly for the purpose of effecting an ex- CHAP, 
change of prisoners. Such vessels were popularly known as VI 
" flags of truce." 

'The British West Indian colonies participated^ in this 
trade, though naturally to a less extent than did the continental 
colonies, where the provisions were originally produced. In 
1757 Barbados passed a law making it high treason to trade 
with the French,^ and in the following year the Governor of 
the colony wrote to the Board of Trade, that every care and pre- 
caution had been taken to prevent the enemy from being supplied.^ 
Despite these measures, Commodore Moore discovered, in 1759, 
that St. Vincent, one of the neutral islands, which had become 
completely French, was constantly supplied with provisions 
from Barbados, and that this trade helped to support the other 
French Islands.^ A number of ships engaged in this trade 
were seized by the navy, and measures were also taken to 
punish those guilty of violating the law.* These vigorous 
steps seem to have been effective in checking such practices in 
the West Indian colonies.® 

* In the continental colonies, this direct trade with the enemy 
was extensively carried on, especially by Rhode Island and 
Pennsylvania, though it was by no means confined to them. 
In many instances the colonial vessels were protected from 
seizure by commissions or other documents in the nature of 
passes issued by the governors, constituting them *' flags of 
truce,'' for tlie ostensible purpose of effecting an exchange of 
prisoners. Although at the beginning these passes may have 
been used for the legitimate purpose of exchanging prisoners,^ 
their issue soon became a crying evil. All pretence of 
legitimacy was abandoned, and, as in the previous war, colonial 
merchants eagerly sought to obtain from the governors these 

1 Wentworth, New Hampshire, Nov. 18, 1757, to Board of Trade. B. T. 
Plant Oen. 49. Gf, R T. Leeward Isles 32 Gc 6 ; B. T. N. Y. 34 Mm 13. 
' B. T. Barbados 35 Ee 5, 6. 

* IWi, 85 Ee 16. Pinfold to Board of Trade, Jan. 7, 1758. 

* Moore to Pitt, October, 1759. Am. and W.I. 100. 

* Crump, Guadeloupe, Dec. 26, 1759, to Pitt Ibid, Pinfold to Board 
of Trade, May 29, 1760. B. T. Barbados 86 Ff 1. 

' The trade was also not unknown in Jamaica. In 1758 a *' flag of truce '* 
of that island, loaded up to the hatches, was seized by a privateer. B. T. 
Ya. 26 X 41. See also the first memorial enclosed in Holmes to Pitt> Jan. 4, 
1761, which states that Jamaica sent money to the enemy, while the Northern 
colonies sent provisions, and that the navy had entirely stopped this flog of 
truce trade from Jamaica. Col. Oorr. Jam. II. Robert Melvill, the Lieutenant- 
€U)veraor of Guadeloupe, wrote to Pitt, Dec. 15, 1760, that he had made 
two seizui-QS in frustrating attempts to send provisions from that island to 
Martinique. Am. and W.I. 100. 

^ Gf, Hopkins, governor of Rhode Island, to Pitt, Dec. 20, 1760. Am. and 

W.I. 7a 


CHAP, documents, under cover of which, with one or two French 
VI prisoners on board, they could with safety to themselves carry 
on a lucrative trade with the enemy. The Ideutenant-Govemor 
of Virginia reported that he was offered four hundred guineas, 
if he " would license a Flag of Truce/' ^ The most scandalous 
conditions prevailed in Pennsylvania, where Crovemor Denny 
openly sold such passes. When bringing these facts to Pitt's 
attention in 1759, Thomas Penn^ said that the Delaware Biver 
at Philadelphia swarmed " with shallops unloading these illegal 
cargoes, brought at their return, and cheating the King of his 
dutys,^ besides carrying provisions and ready money to the 
Enemy." At first Denny sold these licenses in small numbers, 
and under the pretence of transporting French prisoners, though 
all such prisoners could have been embarked in one or two 
vessels at the most. At the outset also the governor received 
large sums for these passes, but as the number issued increased 
their value fell ; and finally '* he scrupled not to set his name to, 
& dispose of great numbers of blank flags of Truce, at the low 
price of twenty pounds sterling or under, some of which," as 
ins successor, James Hamilton, wrote, were sold in 1759 *'from 
hand to hand at advanced prices." In 1759 and 1760, "a very 
great part of the principal Merchants" of Philadelphia were 
engaged in this trade with the French West Indies.^ In a 
number of the colonies, the governors refused to issue flags 
of truce. Fauquier in Virginia^ and Wentworth in New 
Hampshire^ did not issue any, and though Pownall in 
Massachusetts granted two, they were for the legitimate 
exchange of prisoners.'^ Connecticut also asserted its freedom 
from participation in such practices.^ Rhode Island, on the 
other hand, was deeply implicated. 

*In 1757 Rhode Island traded directly with the French in 
Santo Domingo,^ and in the following year it was asserted that 
a regular trade in provisions was carried on from that colony to 
the French West Indies by means of "cartel ships," carrying 

* Fauquier to Pitt, Oct. 28, 1760. Am. and W.I. 72. C/. also Bumaby, 
Travels (ed. R. R. Wilson), p. 129 n. 

» Sept. 12, 1759. Am. and W.I. 72. 

' The duties were those imposed by the Molasses Act of 1733. 

* Hamilton to Pitt, Nov. 1, 1760. Am. and W.I. 72. In a private letter 
from Philadelphia, December, 1759, the writer said of this trade, ''there are 
among us some who think it illegal, while others of larger consciences practise 
it profitably." B. T. Plant Gen. 16 P 20. 

« Fauquier to Pitt, Oct. 28, 1760. Am. and W.I. 72. C/. also B. T. Va. 
27 Y 14. 

8 Wentworth to Pitt, Dec. 9, 1760. Am. and W.I. 73. Wentworth wrote 
that he probably could have made a good deal of money by issuing them. 

' Bernard to Pitt, Nov. 8, 1760. Am. and W.I. 72. 

« Thomas Fitch to Pitt, Nov. 26, 1760, and April 25, 1761. Am. and W.I. 
73. • B. T. N.Y. 34 Mm^M. 


9 few prisoB^rs and protected by flags of truce.^ Stephen CHAP. 
{lopkins,^ the colonial governor, in the course of a detailed yi 
exculpatory despatch to Pitt, said that in the first four years of 
the war thirty- two Ehode Island vessels had sailed to the 
French coloi4es for the purposie of exchanging prisoners. A 
colonial law authorized the governor to issue commissions for 
this purpose, but expressly forbade the exportation of pro- 
visions and warlike stores. Hopkins asserted that the colonial 
officials had not connived at any violations of this law, but he 
frankly admitted that these Rhode Island " jlags of truce " took 
lumber ^and ''Dry Groods of British Manufacture" to the 
French colonies, bringing back molasses and some sugar, 
^pkiiis finally added : " It must be confessed 'tis highly 
probable, that some Vessels from this Colony as well as from 
others, have taken in Cargoes under Pretence of being bound 
to Jamaica," and have then sold them to the French in Santo 
Douango. At the time, it was generally asserted that this 
direct trade with the enemy was openly carried on by Rhode 

' In ^iddition to this direct trade with the enemy, carried on 
under cover of flags of truce or with the connivance of the 
French authorities, the colonies, and Ireland as well, exported 
large quantities of provisions to the neutral ports in the West 
Indies. St. Eustatius was the chief centre of this trade and 
became an important source of supply for the French.^ 

' According to British law, provisions were in general deemed 
contraband of war, and especially so in a. case like this, because 
they enabled the French to fit out their fleets and privateers, 
and because, in- addition, they relieved settlements which were 
in continual danger of being forced to surrender through starva- 
tion.^ Besides, in a number of instances, the Dutch vessels 
went to the French colonies under convoy of French men-of-war. 

> Faaquier to Board of Trade, Sept. 23, 1768. B. T. Va. 26 X 41 ; B. T. 
Journals 66, Dea 12, 1758. * Dec. 20, 1760. Am. and W.I. 78. 

• Sharpe to Pitt, Feb. 27, 1761. Am. and W.I. 78. On May 9, 1761, 
Francis 3emard wrote to the Board of Trade : *' These practises will never 
be put an End to, till Rhode Island is reduced to the subjection of the British 
Empire ; of which at present it is no more a part than the Bahama Islands 
were when they were inhabited by the Bucoanneers." B. T. Mass. 78 LI 16. 

* The Dutch purchasers of these provisions in St. Eustatius furnished the 
oolonial vessels with forged or fraudulent landing certificates, which were 
used to cancel the bonds given in the British colonies not to take their cargoes 
to a foreign port. B. T. N. Y. 84 Mm 14. 

' In 1746 the British High Court of Admiralty declared that "provisions 
are and always have been esteemed contraband." F. T. Pratt, Law of Gontra- 
bfljid of War (London, 1856), p. 93. Cf. also the judgment of Sir William 
Soottin the "Jonge Margaretha," 1799. 0. Robinson, Reports of Oases in 
the High Court of Admiralty (Philadelphia, 1800), I, p. 168. Holland did 
not admit this definition of contraband, which was opposed to the treaties she 
had concluded with £Uigland. See Am. and W.I. 54, no. 124. 

2 D 


CHAP. Thus on November 30, 1758, Governor Thomas of the Leeward 
VI Islands wrote to the Board of Trade, that three fleets of Dutch 
vessels had in the last four months gone in this manner to 
Martinique, and he claimed, that without them the French 
would have been reduced to great distress and could not have 
fitted out their privateers.^ Furthermore, in return for pro- 
visions, the Dutch took Fren^sh produce, which they carried to 

' In normal times, France did not as a rule allow foreigners to 
trade with her colonies. During the war, French colonial trade 
was for the time being opened to Dutch vessels, owing to the 
supremacy of Great Britain at sea. This measure was not one 
"of French councils, but of British force." The British prize 
courts proceeded to condemn all such vessels engaged in this 
trade, contending that a neutral power could not engage in a 
trade which was opened to them only by " the pressure of war." 
This general doctrine is known as the "Rule of 1756."* 
Proceeding on these general principles, the British navy in- the 
West Indies seized Dutch vessels carrying provisions to the 
French colonies, and also Dutch vessels taking produce away 
from them.^ These seizures created a great deal of friction 

^ B. T. Leeward Islands 32 Cc 35, In an intercepted letter from the Gov- 
ernor of St. Eustatius to the Governor of Martinique, March 14, 1758, we read : 
"Je me flatte d'ailleurs, Messieurs, que dans un cas un peu douteux, vous 
voudr^ bien avoir £gard h. la fa9on dont jc me suis porte a foumir des vivres 
& Yos Colonies, dans le terns mSme oil les Anglois insultoient le plus notre 
pavilion." Ibid, Cc 23. See Commodore Moore's despatch to Pitt from 
Guadeloupe, March 6, 1759, to the effect that, as the Butch wero very assid- 
uous in assisting the enemy, he had sent ships to cruiBeu)ff St. Eustatius to 
prevent provisions being sent thence to Guadeloupe, whose complete con- 
quest had not yet been effected. Am. and W. I. 100. '^ Ibid, Cc 6. 

' This mle was based on legitimat/C considerations, which ai'e admirably 
expoimded in a judgment of the famous jurist, Sir William Scott, in the case 
of the '* Immanuel," 1799 : ''It cannot be contended to be a right of neutrals, 
to intrude into a commerce which had been uniformly shut against them and 
which is now forced open merely by the pressure of war ; for when the enemy, 
under an entire inability to supply his Colonies and to export their products, 
affects to open them to neutrals, it is not his will but his necessity that changes 
his system ; that change is the direct and unavoidable consequence of the 
compulsion of war, it is a measure not of French councils, but of British force." 
Robinson (Am. ed.) II, pp. 167, 168. 

* The general contention of the British government was that, " in the present 
War between England and France, the Subjects of Holland have no Right 
to cover the Property of the Enemy of England, ^oing to, or coming from the 
Colonies of that Enemy, directly, nor indirectly to do it) thro' the Medium of 
the Dutch Colonies ; nor to carry to the Colonies of France directly, nor in- 
directly, any Commodities, altho' Neutral Projierty, which have a Tendency 
to support the Enemy." James Marriott, The Case of the Dutch Ships Con- 
sidered (3d ed. London, 1759), p. 1. Marriott was at a later date judge of 
the admiralty court. See also The Annual Register for 1759 (5th ed. London, 
1769), p. 5 ; A Letter to the Dutch Merchants in England (London, 1759), 


between the English and Uie Dutoh.^ Their general eflfect, CHAP, 
however, was to break up the Dutch trade with the French VI 
colonies, and with it the exportation of provisions from Ireland 
and the British, colonies to Dutch ports. Being deprived of 
their Dutch market,^ the continental colonies sought access to 
the French by other means, and in the years 1759 and 1760 
there developed an important trade with Monte Cristi, 
a Spanish settlement in the island of Hispaniola or Santo 

' Both France and Spain had colonies in this island. Monte 
Cristi is situated on its north shore in the Spanish part, 
contiguous to the French boundary. Prior to the war, this 
commercially insignificant place had been closed to foreigners, 
but subsequently it was made a free port^^ for the purpose 

pp. 4, 18 (this pamphlet is attributed to Marriott) ; Authentic Memoirs of 
Chatham (London, 1778), pp. 19, 20. 

^ To the frequent complaints of the Governor of St. Eustatius that the 
capture and condemnation of Ihitch vessels bound with provisions to the 
French islands was contrary to the treaties subsisting between Great Britain 
and Holland, Governor Thomas of the Leeward Islands replied, that if the 
condemnations were deemed unjust, an appeal could be taken to his Majesty 
in Council. B. T. Leeward Islands 32 Oc 22. The documents regarding this 
matter were sent to Pitt by the Board of Trade, July 26, 1758. Ibid, 57, 
pp. 124, 125, 130. For the activity of the British fleet) see ibid, Cc 35. 
Gura^oa was less concerned in this trade than was St. Eustatius. Up to 
a short time before the end of the war, only seven vessels from Cura^oa had 
been condemned in Jamaica for trading with the French West Indies. Col. 
Corr. Jam. II, May 10, 1762. For the decisions on appeal in England in 
these cases, see GrenviUe Papers I, pp, 270, 288, 284, 296. 

^ On March 28, 1759, Lieutenant-Governor Henry Moore of Jamaica wrote 
to the Board of Trade that the squadron had put an end to the commerce 
between the French and the Dutch, and that tlus branch of trade was then 
taken up by the Northern colonies. B. T. Jam. 84 Z 43. The trade through 
the Dutch channel, however, did not cease entirely. See Bradley to Amherst, 
Dec. 6, 1760. Am. and W.L 78 and 95. 

' Tlie first mention of this trade is in DeLancey's despatch to the Board 
of Trade, June 8, 1757. B. T. N. Y. 34 Mm 3. Nothing further was heard 
until two years later, when the Board of Trade said that its first information 
regarding this trade came fi'om a despatch from the Lieutenant-Governor of 
Jamaica, March 28, 1759. B. T. Journals 67, p. 231. See also B. T. Plant. 
Gen. 44, p. 179 ; B. T. Jam. 84 Z 43. Colebrooke's report of Feb. 18, 1760, 
says that this trade had been carried on since the beginning of the war, but 
in no proportion to what it was in 1759 and 1760. B. T. Plant Gen. 16 P 17. 

* Shirley, in his despatch to the Board of Trade, March 29, 1760, says it 
was a new Spanish settlement. Am. and W.I. 454. The second memorial 
enclosed in Holmes to Pitt, Jan. 4, 1761, says : '* There is here No City, No 
Town, No Port," only a few huts ; the place has no trade of its ovrUy and *Hhe 
Newly established free Port of Monto Christi . . . exists no where, but in the 
airy Regions of Imagination." Col. Corr. Jam. II. It should, however, be 
noted that already in 1562 John Hawkins sailed '' to Monte Christi another 
port on the North side of Hispaniola." Hakluyt X, p. 8. 


CHAP, of facilitating the trade between the British and French 
^I colonies. Nothing was produced here that the English colonies 
wanted,^ nor did the few Spaniards residing at the place afford 
a market for provisions. The exports from Monte Cristi were 
all Fr^ich produce,^ and its imports all went immediately to the 
adjoining French colony. The Spanish governor collected fees 
from the vessels, gave them clearances, and charged duties on 
the sugar and molasses exported.^ But the trade was essentially 
a direct one with the French.^ In many instances the French 
produce was not even landed in Spanish territory, but was 
transferred from small French boats directly to the British 
vessels in the harbor.^ The products brought to Monte Cristi 
were provisions, warlike stores, British manufactures and money.^ 
The commodities exported were chiefly sugar and molasses.^ 

' This trade at Monte Cristi was carried on mainly by the New 
England and Middle colonies,^ but it was by no means unknown 

^ The only Spanish prodace that oould be obtained here was tobacco and 
hides. Hinxman's report in Holmes to Pitt, May 31, 1761. Col. Coir. Jam. II. 

« B. T. Jam. 84 Z 59. 

' B. T. Bahamas 7 £ 3 ; Hinxman's report in Holmes to Pitt, May 31, 
1761. Col. Corr. Jam. II. 

* See Memorial of Bdward Long, Dec. 3, 1760. Col. Corr. Jam. II. Long 
was Judge of the Vice- Admiralty Court of Jamaica, and is the author of the 
well-known history of that island. 

^ B. T. Jam. 34 Z 59. Cf. also second Memorial in Holmes to Pitt, Jan. 
4, 1761, in Col. Corr. Jam. 11, and Holmes to Pitt, May 31, 1761, ibid, 
Holmes's despatch to the admiralty regarding this saliject was likewise sent 
to Pitt. Cal. Home Office Papers, 1760-1765, p. 4. 

^ B. T. Bahama 6 D 87, 7 £ 1 ; B. T. Plant Gen. 16 P 17. It was said 
that the colonies were drained of money by this trade, as a cargo of sugar 
was moi-e valuable than a cargo of proTisions. B. T. Plant. Gen. 16 P 20. 
The North American vessels also brought horses, lumber, and 'fish. B. T. 
Jam. 84 Z 59. The average annual value of the importations from the North 
American colonies into Jamaica during the five years 1766 to 1762 was 
£200,000 Jamaica currency. The exports from Jamaica to these colonies 
amounted to only £50,000 yearly, the balance being paid in money or in bills 
of exchange, which the continental colonies Used to purchase French produce 
at Monte Cristi. B. T. Jam. 37 Cc 19. In 1761 £10,000 Jamaica currency 
was eqtuvalent to £7141 sterling. Ibid, Bb 41. 

7 B. T. Jam. 34 Z 44 and 59. 

^ According to a list of ships spoken by H. M.'s sloop Fiper in Monte 
Cristi harbor, Feb. 5, 1759, 28 of the 29 ships there, ranging from 30 to 150 
tons in burden, belonged to the North American colonies, and had cleared 
from them. They belonged to the following colonies : New York, 7 ; Rhode 
Island, 8 ; Connecticut, 4 ; Massachusetts, 8 ; Viiginia, 1 ; and Bermuda, 1. 
The Virginia ship had put in on account of stress of weather. B. T. Jam. 
34 Z 44. The success of the trade attracted others. On Oct 25, 1760, 
H.M.S. Defiance anchored at Monte Cristi and remained there eight or nine 
days. The commander roportki that there were always fifty vessels in the 
harbor, and that every day some left and some arrived. These vessels belonged 
to £ngland, Ireland, Gibraltar, and the oolonies, and in addition, mention is 


in Virginia^ and in the West Indies.^ In addition, British CHAP, 
subjects in England, Scotland, and Ireland were implicated in it, ^^ 
though to a minor extent.^ The trade assumed large proportions 
in 1759 and 1760. At times during these two yeurs, over one 
hundred North American vessels were at this port^ In 1760 it 
was estimated that in that one year four to five hundred vessels 
had taken in cargoes of French sugar and molasses.^ In order 
to facilitate the trade. North American subjects of the Crown 
resided at Monte Cristi.® 

* In New York, where this trade to Monte Gristi was extensively^ 

made of three vessels under the Danish flag. Second Memorial in Holmes 
to Pitt, Jan. 5, 1761. Col. Corr. Jam. 11. The trial of a North American 
vessel engaged in this trade showed that Messrs. Greg and Cunningham of 
New York and Messrs. Hugh White and Co. of Dublin were heavily interested 
in it. Holmes to Pitt, no date but marked as received May 18, 1761. Ibid, 
Captain Hinjanan, who had been sent by Holmes to investigate, reported that 
on his arrival at Monte Cristi he found in the port 42 British vessels and that 
8 had arrived subsequent to his anchoring. Of these 50 vessels, 36 belonged 
to the North American colonies : Massachusetts, 15 ; Rhode Island, 10 ; 
New York, 9 ; Connecticut, 1 ; North Carolina, 1. The balance belonged to 
the West Indian colonies and to various places, such as London, 5 ; Edinburgh, 
1 ; Ireland, 1 ; Gibraltar, 1. The colonial vessels brought provisions, the 
British manufactures; both took in return French products such as sugar 
and indigo. Holmes to Pitt, May 31, 1761. Ibid, For Danish ships carrying 
French colonial products to market, see Cal. Home Office Papers, 1760-1765, 
pp. 69, 77, 78. 

1 Fauquier to Pitt, Oct. 28, 1760. Am. and W.I. 72. Cf, B. T. Va. 27 
Y 14 and 111. Maryland, on the other hand, seems to have obeyed the act 
of 1767. B. T. Pi-op. 21 X 8. Cf. ibid, 20 W 26 and 27. 

* One Allen Popham of St. Ritts was extensively engaged in this trade of 
sending provisions from Ireland and New York to St. Eustatius, St. Croix, 
St. Thomas, and Hispaniola^ Bradley to Amherst, Dec.- 5, 1760. Am. and 
W.I. 73 and 96. 

' Colebrooke's report of 1760 says: ^'Poliotes of Insurance have been 
opened publickly in London to cover their risque, and at such high praemiums 
as imply consdousness of great hasard attending illegal adventures." B. T. 
Plant. Gen. 16 P 17. See also Sharps to Pitt, Feb. 27, 1761. Am. and W.I. 
78. Golden to Pitt, Dec. 27, 1760. Ibid, Report of the New York Council, 
Dec. 24, 1760. Ibid, In 1761 a small quantity of merchandise was entered 
for export direct from London to Monte Cristi. Customs Records (in Public 
Record Office), Ledgers of Imports and Exports, vol. 61. 

* Governor George Haldane of Jamaica to Bocurd of TVade, June 9, 1769, 
with affidavits to the effect that at times 100 to 120 North American vessels 
were at Monte Cristi. B. T. Jam. 84 Z 69. In 1760 it was said that as many 
as a hundred such vessels had been seen at one time there. B. T. Plant. 
Gen. 16 P 17. C/i aho Shirley to B. T., March 29, 1760, in Am. and W.I. 
454 ; B. T. Bahamas 6 D 87 ; a T. Journals 68 p. 175. 

' B. T. Bahamas 7 £ 1 and d« Admiral Cotes said that more than 200 
vessels had taken cargoes from Monte Cristi in 1769. B. T. Plant Gen. 16 
P 20. « B. T. Jam. 84 Z 69. 

7 George Spenoer to Amherst, Dea 17, 1760, with a list of 46 New York 


CHAP, carried on, it monopolized mach of the time of the CJommander- 
^I in-Chief, as it interfered with the victualling of the forces.^ The 
lieutenant-govemor of this colony, James DeLancey, was very 
active in suppressing the illegal exportation of provisions. 
** Quantities of Flour,'' he wrote, *^ were clandestinely Exported 
to foreign Markets, particularly to Monti Cfaristi, thence to 
Supply the French.'* Some of the offenders were discovered ; 
whereupon Amherst wrote that this was '* a secret Satisfaction " 
to him, and that he hoped they would be punished as they 
deserved. Despite DeLancey's efforts and the detection of some 
of those concerned "in this shamefull abuse," Amherst again 
received complaints of its being carried on to a very great extent ; 
so much so that he feared that nothing but an embargo would 
put a stop to it. He was, however, opposed to such a step if it 
could possibly be avoided without making the army suffer from 
want of flour, and he urged the Governor to punish all delin- 
quents most severely. While his efforts to do so were at least 
in part frustrated,* DeLancey's energetic action succeeded in 
checking the trade, though not in stopping it, and he was able 
to assure Amherst that at all events there would be in New 
York no scarcity of so essential an article as flour. DeLancey's 
fears as to the continuance of this trade were, however, justified. 
On his death in 1760, Cadwallader Golden, as president of the 
Council, became the acting governor. He frankly admitted that 
the New York merchants had been too generally concerned in 
this illicit intercourse, but added that the Philadelphia merchants 
were even more guilty.' 

vessels that had taken proyisions to Monte Cristi and other foreign ports, 
and had returned to New York with French sugair which was entered on 
fictitious clearances. Augustus Bradley to Aniherst, Dec. 18, 1760, with a 
similar list of 39 vessels. Am. and W.I. 95. 

' See DeLiancey to Amherst, Aug. 24, Oct. 22, Nov. 5, 1759 ; and 
Amherst to DeLancey, Oct. 2, 7, 29, 1759. Am. and W.I. 91 and 92. In 
New York, the fraudulent flag of truce trade was not practised, as neither 
Hardy nor DeLancey would countenance it. 

^DeLancey to Amherst, Nov. 5, 1759: "My Proclamation against 
Hcysham, I believe, gave some Check to the Exportation of Provisions ; 
but De Peyster and FoUiott have connections, the former "with two of the 
Judges, and the Latter in the Custom house." Therefore he does not 
think that they will be made examples of; they have prevailed upon the 
witnesses to absent themselves ; and he fears that this trade will continue. 

» Colden to Pitt, Oct. 27, 1760. Am. and W.I. 72. The method of carry- 
ing on this trade in New York was to ship provisions in large quantities to 
the New England governments, " for which the Merchants give bond," as the 
act of Parliament directed. These bonds were in turn cancelled by lauding 
certificates from New England. The provisions were then exported to the 
French, and French sugars were brought back to New England or to New 
Jersey, whence in turn they were imported into New York, ^ith '^cockets" 
to the effect that they had been legally imported. In addition, Colden said 


' By these means British subjects, of whom an overwhelming CHAP, 
majority lived in the North American colonies, supplied the ^^ 
French with provisions and afforded them a market for their 
produce,^ thus to a great extent frustrating the policy of the 
mother country. In fact, according to Shirley, who had been 
transferred from Massachusetts to the Bahamas, provisions were 
more plentiful and cheaper in the French settlements than in 
the English West Indies, and in addition, the prices for French 
sugars rose violently on account of the broad market offered at 
Monte CristL^ Not only did the enemy secure an otherwise 
unobtainable market for his produce, but in addition, the sugars 
purchased at Jklonte Gristi were shipped from the North 
American colonies to London and entered there as British 
sugars,' thus vitiating the preferential system which gave the 
products of the British West Indies a monopoly of the home 
market. Furthermore, as a result of this trade, the price of 
provisions rose rapidly in the North American colonies, especially 

that he had no doubt that provisions were exported from places where there 
were no customs officers. See also Golden to Pitt, Nov. 11, 1760 {Ibid,), 
enclosing the custom-house accounts, illustrating the nature and method of 
this trade. This method implied great frauds in the customs service, which 
Golden laid at the door of the officers in New Jersey and New England. One 
Bradley sent him a copy of a letter from a firm in Norwalk, which had pro- 
cured "numbers of fictitious clearances for Different Persons as Also their 
method & Price for doing it." Bradley to Amherst, Dec. 18, 1760. Am. 
and W.I. 95. In addition, Golden admitted that provisions were shipped 
from New York to the Spanish and Portuguese wine islands off Southern 
Europe and Africa. This, though illegal, he contended did no harm, as all 
provisions thus exported were purely for local consumption in these islands. 
Golden to Pitt, Dec. 27, 1760. Of, also B. T. Va. 27 Y 14. New Jersey, 
whose foreign trade was unimportant, apparently did not engage directly in 
this trade, at least not to a marked degree. Boone to Pitt, Aug. 23, 1760. 
Am. and W.I. 72. ^ B. T. Jam. 34 Z 44. 

^ White sugar had risen from 185. to 265. a cwt, muscovado from ll5. to 
175. 6d. a cwt Shiriey to Board of Trade, Aug. 1, 1760. B. T. Bahamas 
7 E 1. Governor Lyttelton said that on account of this trade provisions 
during the war were scarce and dear in Jamaica. B. T. Jam. 37 Cc 19. 
However, on Jan. 7, 1758, Governor Pinfold wrote to the Board of Trade that 
Barbados was plentifully supplied witli provisions, the trade with the 
Northern colonies being kept open by the activity of the privateers. B. T. 
Barbados 35 Ee 16. 

^ These sugars were "entered as the produce of the island of Guardaloup," 
which had been captured in 1759. B. T. Plant. Gen. 16 P 17. French 
sugars were imported into New York under "the denomination of prize 
sugars & British Sugara from Guardaloup." Golden to Pitt, Nov. 11, 1760. 
Am. and W.I. 72. Shirley pointed out that in addition to the other 
advantages resulting from this trade, France derived a revenue from the 
export duties in Santo Domingo, while the duties that were imposed by the 
Act of 1733 on these products when imported into the English colonies were 
not paid. B. T. Bahamas 6 D 87. On June 13, 1760, the Board of Trade 
sent a copy of this despatch to Pitt. Ibid» 12, pp. 187-188. 


CHAP, in New York, so that at times it would hare been cheaper to 
VI purchase in England the flour and bread needed for the troope 
employed in the colonies.^ 

'Of minor importance, but by no means insignificant^ was 
another branch of this illegal trade: that carried on with the 
French in Florida and Louisiana. New York and Pennsylvania 
did not, apparently, engage in this commerce, which, 4o a great 
extent^ centred in New England.^ A small nmnber of colonial 
sloops constantly traded with New Orleans.' In addition, some 
trade, especially in Indian goods, was carried on by means of 
the Spanish with the French to the tirest of Florida. South 
Carolina was somewhat inyolved therein, but the chief (lender 
was Rhode Island.^ According to William Bull, the lieutenant- 
governor of that colony, it was the Indian goods thus acquired 
that enabled the French to keep their promises to the Indians, 
which, in turn, tended to encourage the Gherokees to keep up 
their war with the English and almost brought the Creeks to an 
open rupture.* 

' The military and naval commanders were naturally indignant 
at a trade which they considered " traiterous," and which inter- 
fered with the success of their operations. Toward the end of 
1759 General Crump wrote to Pitt that the French islands sub- 
sisted entirely by this trade and by the prizes which they took, 
and that, during the last eight months, not a single vessel had 
arrived from Europe with provisions for them. If these practices 
were stopped, he added, it would facilitate any military designs 
on the colonies of the enemy.^ Admiral Cotes called the trade 
iniquitous,^ and Commodore Moore stigmatized those engaged 

^ B. T. Plant. Gen. 16 P 17. Of. also correspondence of DeLancey and 
Amherst. ' Am. and W. I. 91 and 92. 

« CJolden to Pitt, Oct. 27, 1760. Am. and W.I. 72. Hamilton to Pitt, 
Nov. 1, 1760. Ihid. 

' In 1761 a sloop v:as seized at Boston for trading at New Orleans. 
The examination of the crew of this vessel hronght ont the fact that in 
addition to this, two other colonial sloops, one from Rhode Island, the other 
from Jamaica, traded regularly at New Orleans. Bernard to fitt, May 5, 
1761. Am. and W.I. 78 ; B. T. Mass. 78 LI 14 and 19. 

* On May 29, 1760, Bull wrote to the Board of Trade that the French 
were enabled to take advantage of the rupture with the Oherokees by the 
plenty of Indian goods with which they had been 8U})plied by the Northerti 
colonies, especially by the Rhode Island traders, who, being interrupted in 
their traffic at Monte Oristi, "have found out a new, and more pernicious 
Channel for the Industry, by carrying Goods proper for Indians to Pensacola, 
or other parts, where the French at Louisiana can get them." B. T. So.Oa. 
20 M 7. 

» Bull to Pitt, Feb. 18, 1761. Am. and W.I. 78. With a view to 
obviating this result, Bull induced South Carolina to pass a temporary law 
regulating the exportation of goods needed for the Indian trade. 

• Byam Crump, Guadeloupe, Dec. 26, 1759, to Pitt. Am. and W.I. 100. 
' B. T. Plant. Gen. 16 P 20. 


in it as " Traitors to their Country/' ^ It was claimed by those CHAP. 
in the best position to judge of such matters, that this trade VI 
enabled the French to equip privateers, which inflicted much 
suffering, and that it prevented the capture of the French West 

* Full reports were forwarded to Pitt, who characteristically 
expressed his sentiments in no uncertain terms. On August 23, 
1760,^ he addressed a circular despatch to the colonial governors, 
stating that he had received repeated and certain information 
*'of an illegal and most pernicious Trade, carried on by the 
King's Subjects, in North America, and the West Indies, as well 
to the French Islands, as to the French Settlements" on the 
continent of America, by means of which the enemy is supplied 
with provisions and other necessaries, in consequence of which 
France is '' principally, if not alone, enabled to sustain, and pro- 
tract, this long and expensive War." Pitt instructed the 
governors to make strict inquiries into ** the State of this 
dangerous and ignominious Trade," to bring "all such heinous 
Offenders ... to the most exemplary ^nd condign Punishment^" 
and in general to put a stop to "such flagitious Practices." Pitt 
was unquestionably indignant^ and this feeling was intensified 
by the fact that, as a result of the victories of Hawke and 
Boscawen,. French sea power had been utterly shattered. The 
French West Indies were absolutely helpless, and relief from 
France was impossible. Guadeloupe had already fallen into 
English hands, and Martinique, Dominica, and the other " neutral 
islands " would inevitably fall when wanted, unless aided directly 
or indirectly by the English colonies. 

' The chief instrument used to break up this trade with the 
enemy was the royal navy.^ Frequent seizures virtually put an 
end to the fraudulent flag of truce trade ^ and to the direct trade 
with the enemy.^ The indirect intercourse by means of the 

» Moore to Pitt, October, 1769. Am. and W.I. 100. 

> B. T. Jam. 34 Z 43. Henry Moore, March 28, 1769. 

' Am. and W.I. 78. On Nov. 1, 1760, Governor Hamilton of Pennsylvania 
wrote to Pitt that trading with the enemy must ** from the very nature of 
War, be a very high offence." Am. and W.I. 72. 

* In 1757, Sir Charles Hai-dy, who was both governor of New York and 
a Rear - Admiral, advised the employment of cruisers to 'intercept any 
Smuggling Trade that might attempt going to the Neutral Islands" with 
provisiooB. Hardy to Pitt, April 10, 1767. Am. and W.I. 71. At that 
time he seized a Salem vessel returning from St. Eustatius, and took it to 
Halifax where it was condemned in the Admiralty Court B. T. N.Y. 34 
Mm 18. 

^ B. T. Va. 26 X 41 ; Second Memorial enclosed in Holmes to Pitt, 
Jan. 4, 1761. Col. Corr. Jam. II. 

< Hamilton to Pitt, Nov. 1, 1760. Am. and W.I. 72. Sharpe to Pitt, 
Feb. 27, 1761. Ibid. 73. First Memorial enclosed in Holmes to Pitt, Jan. 4, 
1761. Col. Corr. Jam. II. Bernard to Pitt, Nov. 8, 1760. Am. and W. I. 72. 


CHAP. Dutch colonies was also checked by the condemnation of the 
VI Dutch vessels engaged in trading with the French colonies. 
This indirect trade was then diverted to Monte Gristi As this 
was a Spanish port, some legal difficulties were encountered in 
seizing vessels trading there. It was practically impossible to 
condemn colonial vessels carrying provisions to a foreign port in 
violation of the act of 1757, because their papers were always 
in order and indicated as their destination some British port 
Nor, according to a strict interpretation of the ''Rule of 1756," 
could colonial vessels trading at a neutral port, such as Monte 
Cristi, be condemned. 

'At the outset, in 1759, the navy proceeded to seize ships 
engaged in the Monte Oristi trade, but was deterred in this 
activity by the legal difficulties encountered in procuring their 
condemnation.^ The Admiralty Court in England held that 
'' British Subjects have no Undoubted right of Trading at Monte 
Christi, provided they carry on their Trade Band Fide with the 
Spaniards only."^ The Judge of the Vice-Admiralty court of 
Jamaica contended, however, that the trade was not bona fide, 
that the Spaniards produced no sugar, molasses or rum; that 
the trade was virtually a direct one with the French ; and that 
it certainly violated the spirit of the law.^ The naval authorities 
supported this view. On January 4, 1761, Rear- Admiral Charles 
Holmes,^ the commander at the Jamaica station, wrote to Pitt, 
that on his arrival he had instructed the ships of his squadron 
to break up this trade, as well as that carried on ^y flags of 
truce, but that he now found that many doubts had arisen in 
England concerning the legality of seizing and condemning the 
ships coming from Monte Cristi. " Shall others," he asked Pitt, 
'^ the subjects of Great Britain, concerned in this Trade, and 
Swearing with Halters about their Necks, if they bear witness 
to the Truth and Declare, that they keep Correspondence with 
the Enemy and not only Nourish and Support his Subjects in 
their Wants, but cover and carry on their Trade in a most 
prosperous and Successful Manner ; Compeat with, or be 
opposed and Overthrow, the Certain Knowledge of His Majesty's 
Squadron, that there is Neither Port nor Commerce belonging 
to Spain ; at Monte Chris ti, that the Commerce is wholly French ; 
and that the Spaniards are only the Porters of this Trade, not 
into a Port, but into an open Bay and bare Road -Stead ? " 
Holmes added that he would obey whatever instructions he 
might receive, but he pointed out that " the Enemy Cannot be 
hurt here, if the Trade of Monte Christi, under any Colour or 
pretext whatever, be sustained as Legal " ; that this trade was 
even worse than the flag of truce trade, for if British subjects 

» B. T. Plant Gen. 16 P 20 ; B. T. Jam. 34 Z 59 and 80. 

2 Edward Long, Dec. 3, 1760. Col. Corr. Jam. II. 

» Ibid. * Col. Corr. Jam. 11. 


were, by other means, forced to abandon it, the Dutch would CHAP, 
take it up. He therefore hoped that his action in seizing the ^l 
enemy's produce, wherever he could lay hold of it^ would be 
approved. These arguments lead to the extension of the '' £ule 
of 1756 " to the Monte Cristi trade.^ 

*The West Indian Vice -Admiralty courts proceeded to con- 
demn these vessels, and ultimately their action was upheld in 
England. The question of the legitimacy of such seizures once 
settled, great zeal was displayed in breaUng up the trade. To- 
ward the end of 1760, the governor of New Jersey informed 
Pitt that the activity of the cruisers in the West Indies and 
" the Kind of Civil War that has been waged by Privateers on 
these Traders belonging to different Provinces " had made this 
intercourse so hazardous that it cannot be pursued '* so universally 
or successfully as formerly."* Early in 1761, Admiral Holmes 
was able to inform Pitt that he had broken up this trade.^ 

'His report was, however, too sanguine il taken literally. 
The navy seriously interfered with this trade and greatly 
diminished it, but at no time succeeded in entirely eradicating it. 
Many and tortuous were the methods employed to escape the 
vigilance of the men-of-war. Thus in 1761 vessels from Jamaica 
and the continental colonies used Spanish crews and sailed under 
the Spanish flag from Santo Domingo with French produce.^ 
The navy was able to fathom this subterfuge,^ but there were 
apparently other devices, which taken in connection with the 
fact that the navy was not ubiquitous, account for the continuance 
of this trade, though on a greatly diminished scale. At no sub- 
sequent time did it attain the large proportions that it had in 

^ Robinson (Am. ed.) II, pp. 121, 122. 

* Boone to Pitt, Oct. 23, 1760. Am. and W.I. 72. Of. Golden to Pitt, 
N.Y., Oct 27, 1760, to effect that the navy had stopped this trade. Ibid. ; 
Wentworth to Pitt, Dec. 9, 1760. Ibid, ; Hopkins to Pitt, Dec. 20, 1760. 

* Ool. Corr. Jam. II. Not dated but marked received May 13, 1761. Holmes 
added that an attempt was then made to carry French produce to market 
in Spanish ships from Spanish Hispaniola. The aotion of Holmes in seizing 
these Spanish vessels within gunshot of their ports was not approved by the 
Biitish government, whose chief aim, after Pitt's resignation in 1761, was 
to keep peace with Spain. Cal. Home Office Papers, 1760-1765, nos. 397, 
401. On March 29, 1760, Shirley wrote to the Board of Trade that recently 
the Vice-Admiralty Court of New Providence had condemned the cai^es of 
eight Spanish vessels belonging to Monte Cristi. These vessels had been 
captured by a privateer from the Bahamas, and were laden with French 
sugars and molasses. Am. and W.I. 464. 

* Holmes to Pitt, June 16, 1761. Col. Corr. Jam. II. See also Gal. 
Home Office Papers, 1760-1765, pp. 60, 61, for some further details about 
the trade between the French and Spanish in Santo Domingo. 

' The attack of Holmes on this trade led to considerable ill-feeling 
in Jamaica. See complaint against Holmes, Oct. 1, 1761. Col. Corr. Jam. 
II ; and Holmes to Pitt, Oct. 27, 1761. Ibid, III. Qf, pasaim this volume. 


CHAP. 1759 and 1760. In 1762, after Spain had joined forces with 
^1 France, there was, however, a reviyal on so extensive a scale, 
that even the normally imperturbable Cknnmander-in-Chief was 
roused to indignation. 

' On May 10, 1762, Amherst wrote to the Earl of £gremont^ 
that he had Uitely discovered a most iniquitous trade, by means 
of which the enemy was supplied with provisions and stores 
from many ports on the continent of America, the colonial 
vessels sailing directly to the French colonies ; and that he had 
written to the governors and customs officials to put a stop " to 
this pernicious and destructive Trade." ^ In his circular letter 
to ^e colonial governors,^ Amherst stated that he had un- 
questionable proof that the enemy was being supplied with 
provisions from sdmost every port in the continental colonies, 
and that it was absolutely necessary to stop the trade as the 
army needed these supplies. In his letters to the Surveyors- 
General of the Castoms,^ Amherst showed that colonial vessels, 
which had cleared for British ports and had instead gone to the 
enemy's colonies, were yet able^ to procure landing certificates 
from the alleged Biitish port of destination. Such certificates, 
he pointed out, could be obtained only by the dishonest con- 
nivance of the custom-house officials. He enclosed a list of 
such vessels that had gone directly to the enemy's ports, though 
clearing for Connecticut, Pennsylvania, and North Carolina. 

' To' the colonies most implicated, Amherst wrote separately 
and in great detail To Colden,^ the lieutenant-governor of 
New York, he sent complete evidence of the colony's par- 
ticipation in this trade, such as : a French passport found on 
board a New York vessel, allowing it to trade in French ports ; 
an invoice of sugar shipped on a New York vessel in French 
Hispaniola, with an account of the cargo sold there by this ship. 
Among the number of instances mentioned by Amherst, one 
deserves citation. A New York vessel met a French ship that 
concealed its nationality by hoisting the British colors. There- 
upon the colonial captain hid his French pass. On the New 
York vessel being seized, the true nationality of the capturing 
vessel was made evident, and the hidden passport was produced.^ 

1 Am. and W.I. 97. 

' Dated April 15, 1762. The goyemors of Nova Scotia and of Georgia 
were not included. Am. and W.I. 97. To put **a stop to such infamous 
practices, particularly at a time when there is the gi^eatest demand for 
provisions to supply the King's troops." Ck)l. Rec. of R.I. VI, pp. 811, 312. 

* To Peter Randolph, Southern district, and John Temple, Northern 
district) dated April 24, 1762. Am. and W.I. 97. 

* Amherst to Golden, April 16, and M&y 6, 1762. Ibid, 
^ Amherst's letter of April 16, 1762, shows that families like the Living- 
stons and the De Peysters were engaged in this trade. This trade even 
extended to French Guiana. On Nov. 3, 1762, William Popple, Governor of 
the Bermudas, wrote to the Lords of the Admiralty regarding a New York 


It is not surprising that Amherst wrote that ^'such Infamous CHAP, 
practices at any time ought to be suppressed/' but especially VI 
then, when Great Britain was at war with Spain as well as with 
France, and when " there is the greatest ReiEbson imaginable, to 
think that without Bupplys from this Continent the Enemy 
could not Subsist their Fleets in the West Indies." Colden 
fully admitted the truth of these chaises, and said that the New 
York traders ''consider nothing but thdr private profit," and 
that he would try to punish those engaged in this '' most per- 
nicious trade." ^ 

* Connecticut and Rhode Island also called iorth Amherst's 
indignation. On May 5, 1762, he wrote to Fitch, the governor 
of the former colony, complaining that this trade was still 
continued in Connecticut, and that vessels daily left the 
colony with provisions destined for] the enemy.^ Rhode Island 
also was actively engaged in this commerce, which centred in 

'In this entire correspondence, Amherst emphasized two 
points : first, that the trade helped ,the enemy ; eecond, that it 
interfered with military operations by depriving the army of 
the necessary provisions. Despite the fact that the colonies 
produced a large surplus of food-stuffs, the troops had in part to 
be supplied from Europe.^ This was to a great extent due to 
the traide in question, which enhanced to an abnormal degree 

vessel that had been seized for trading at Cayenne. Her outward cargo from 
New York was lumber, provisions, and horses, and the return cargo was 
cocoa. According to the custom-house papers from New York, her des- 
tination should have been Barbados. Adm. Sec. In-Letters 8819. 

1 B. T. N.Y. 86 Oo 67 : Colden to B. T., May 11, 1762. 

« Am. and W.I. 97. 

3 Amherst to Hopkins, M»y 7, 1762. Am. and W.I. 97, and Col. Rec. of 
R.I. VI, pp. 817, 818. For the seizure of a Rhode Island schooner, which 
had gone to Hispaniola with a cargo of flour, see Peter Blake to Egremont, 
Charleston, Nov. 27, 1762. Am. and W.I. 223. 

4 Even under normal conditions, it is probable that some provisions for 
the army would have been sent from Ireland. See Pitt Correspondence II, 
pp. 79, 109, 110. Of, also Brit. Mus. Add. MSS. 85909 (Hardwioke Papers 
DLXI). In the opening years of the war, wheat was sent to England from 
the colonies, while in the closing years the movement was reversed. Among 
the imports of wheat and flour into England in the year from Michaelmas, 
1756, to the same date 1757 are the following items : from New York, 7 
quarters ; from Pennsylvania, 1988 quarters ; from Yiiginia and Maryland, 
4887 quarters. For the subsequent year the corresponding figures are 688, 
1275, and 2855. Among the exports of wheat from England in 1762 are the 
following items : — 

To the West Indian colonies 7485 quarters 

To Quebec 6602 quarters 

To Newfoundland 720 quarters 

To New York 1657 quarters 
Treas. Ace. Rev. Misc. (England), Bundle 80. 


CHAP, the cost of provisions in the colonies. In consequence of the 
VI ensuing scarcity, the Commander-in-Chief at this time was 
forced to order an embargo laid in the Middle and Northern 
colonies.^ "I see no other way," he wrote, ''of preventing 
those whose Sole Views seem to be to get Money without the 
least regard for the good of their Country from accomplishing 
their Designs."^ Amherst* took this step most reluctantly, as 
it punished both the innocent and the guilty ; ^ consequently on 
receipt of advices that a quantity of provisions for the army 
was coming from England, he allowed the embargo to be raised, 
at the same time expressing the hope that no more attempts 
would be made to supply the enemy> For his activity in 
breaking up this trade, Amherst was duly praised by the 
government.' * 



Seepage On July 20, 1895 Mr. Olney addressed a despatch to the 
324. American Ambassador in London, in which were included the 

following observations : — 

'That distance and 3,000 miles of intervening ocean make 

any permanent political union between an European and an 

American State unnatural and inexpedient will hardly be 

denied. . . . 

* To-day the United States is practically Sovereign on this 

continent, and its fiat is law iipon the subjects to which it 

confines its interposition. . . . 

» B. T. N. Y. 36 Go 67. Amherst^ May 6, 1762, to Fitch ; May 7, 1762, to 
Hamilton ; same date to Hopkins ; eta Am. and W. I. 97. 

^ Amherst to Goyemor Hamilton of Pennsylvania, May 7, 1762. Ibid. 

^ Governor Bernard of Massachusetts complained that the embargo en- 
tailed some suffering in that colony, as fish could not be sent to the British 
West Indies, nor provisions to Quebec and Nova Scotia. On May 6, 1762, 
Amherst in reply wrote to Bernard, that this illegal trade had been carried 
on in a most systematic and wholesale manner, and that its suppression was 
a matter of the highest importance. He would allow Bernard to relax the 
embargo as far as Nova Scotia was concerned provided that satisfactory 
bonds were given. Ibid. 

* Amherst, June 18, 1762, to governors of Rhode Island, Gfonnecticut, 
Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Massachusetts. Ibid. 

^ On July 10, 1762, Egremont wrote to him, that * the indefatigable 
Pains You have taken to discover & trace out all the Arts used to cover 
the most scandalous illicit Ti'ade, carried on with the Enemy, have justly 
met* with high approbation. Am. and W.I. 77. 


*With the Powers of Europe permanently encamped on CHAP. 
American soil, the ideal conditions we have thus far enjoyed VI 
cannot be expected to continue.' 

To these observations Lord Salisbury replied : — 
'The necessary meaning of these words is that the union 
between Gt. Britain and Canada ; between Gt. Britain and 
Jamaica and Trinidad; between Gt. Britain and British 
Honduras or British Guiana are " inexpedient and unnatural." 
President Monroe disclaims any such inference from his doctrine ; 
but in this, as in other respects, Mr. Olney develops it. He lays 
down that the inexpedient and unnatural character of the union 
between a European and American State is so obvious that it 
"will hardly be denied." Her Majesty's Government are pre- 
pared emphatically to deny it on the behalf of both the British 
and American people who are subject to her Crown.' ^ 




* It is difficult or impossible to form any safe conjecture of Soe page 
the number of real loyalists in America, but it is certain that ^72. 

it was very considerable. John Adams, who would naturally 
be inclined to overrate the preponderance in favour of in- 
dependence, declared at the end of the war his belief that a 
third part of the whole population, more than a third part of 
the principal persons in America, were throughout opposed to 
the Bevolutiou. Massachusetts was of all the provinces the 
most revolutionary, but when General Gage evacuated Boston 
in 1776 he was accompanied by more than 1,000 loyalists of 
that town and of the neighbouring country. Two-thirds of the 
property of New York was supposed to belong to Tories, and 
except in the city there appears to have been no serious dis- 
affection. In some of the Southern colonies loyalists probably 
formed half the population, and there was no colony in which 
they were not largely represented. . . . 

* The older colonists were not of the stuff of which ardent See page 
soldiers are made. Among the poor, vagrant, adventurous ^^6. 
immigrants who had lately poured in by thousands from Ireland 

and Scotland, there was indeed a keen nulitary spirit, and it 
was these men who ultimately bore the chief part in the war 
of independence ; but the older and more settled colonists were 
men of a very different type. Shrewd, prosperous, and well- 
educated farmers, industrious, money -loving, and eminently 

* Correspondence respecting the Question of the Boundary qf British Ouiana 
[C. 7926], pp. 16-18, 25. 


CHAP, domestic, they were men who, if they were compelled to fight, 
VI would do ao with courage and intelligence, but who cared little 
"--^^v-*-^ or nothing for military glory, and grudged every hour that 
separated them from their families and their farms. Such men 
were dragged very reluctantly into the struggle. The American 
Revolution, like most others, was the work of an enei^etic 
oiunority, who succeeded in committing an undecided aaid 
fluctuating majority to courses for which they had little love, 
and leading them step by step to a position from which it was 
impossible to recede.^ To the last^ however, we find vacillation, 
uncertainty, half -measures, and lin large classes a great apparent 
apathy.' ^ 

Lecky's account is supported by the contemporary authority 
of Chief Justice Marshall. 

' When it is recollected that the parties to the war had been 
members of the same empire ; that no practical oppression had 
been generally experienced ; but that the contest was a contest 

See page ^ One of the most remarkable documents relating to the state of opinion 
547. iu America is the examination of Galloway (late Speaker of the House of 

Assembly in Pennsylvania) by a Committee of the House of Commons, 
June 16, 1779. As a loyalist, his mind was no doubt biassed, but he was a 
very able and honest man, and he had much more than common means of 
forming a correct judgment. He says : ' I do not believe, from the best know- 
ledge I have of that time [the banning of the rebellion], that one-fifth of the 
people had independence in view. . . . Many of those who have appeared in 
support of the present rebellion have by a variety of means been compelled. 
... I think I may venture to say that many more than four-fifths of the 
people would prefer an union with Great Britain upon constitutional principles 
to that of independence.' Galloway was asked the following question : ' That 
part of the rebel army that enlisted in the service of the Congress — were they 
chiefly composed of natives of America, or were the greatest part of them 
English, Scotch, and Irish ? ' Galloway answered : ' The names and places 
of their nativity being taken down, I can answer the question with precision. 
There were scarcely one-fourth natives of America — about one-half Irish — ^the 
other fourth were English and Scotch. ' This last answer, however, roust be 
qualified by a subsequent answer, that he judged of the country of the troops 
by the deserters who came over, to the number of between 2000 and 3000, at 
the time when Galloway was with Sir W. Howe at Philadelphia. I have no 
doubt that in the beginning of the war the proportion of pure Americans in 
the army was much larger, as it was chiefly recruited in New England, where 
the population was most unmixed. It is stated that more than a fourth part 
of the continental soldiers employed during the war were from Massachusetts. 
See Greene's HistoricoU View of th€ American Revolution^ p. 285. Galloway's 
very remarkable evidence was reprinted at Philadelphia in 1855. In his 
Letters to a Nobleman on the Conduct of the Wavj Galloway reiterates his 
assertion that ' three-fourths of the rebel army have been generally composed 
of English, Scotch, and Irish, while scarcely the small proportion of one- 
fourth are American, notw^ithstanding the severe and arbitrary laws to force 
them into the service.' 

'^ Lecky, History of England in Uu Eighteenth Century^ vol. iv. pp. 222, 


of principle, in which a claim was resisted in its commencement, CHAP, 
on the mere ground of rights the pressure of which had not been VI 
felt ; it will readily be supposed that some contrariety of opinion 
must have prevailed in every stage of the controversy. In its 
origin there were very few who took a decisive part in support 
of the claims of administration. The opposition was made by 
the most active, energetic, and intelligent ; and being an opposi- 
tion to taxation, the ultimate consequences of which were 
neither generally foreseen nor apprehended, was, of course, very 
popular; and those who would not then have been willing to 
encounter the difficulties and dangers afterwards experienced, 
either joined their countrymen, or suffered themselves to be 
borne along with the great mass, without enquiring what would 
be the future result of the present measures. 

' As the contest assumed a more serious aspect, and became 
better understood, causes of irritation multiplied, and real 
injuries were sustained. The number of those who were deter- 
mined, at every hazard, to maintain the principle asserted by 
America, greatly increased : but the party disaffected to this 
opposition, assumed a more distinct form, and in many parts 
of the union appeared in greater force than had been at first 

'So soon as fears were entertained that the pen might be 
laid aside, and an appeal be made to the sword, many were 
found unwilling to encounter the danger and the hazards of 
the contest ; and to be more disposed to admit the supremacy 
of the British Parliament, and trust to their not abusing it, 
than to risk everything in order to maintain a principle not 
deemed by all of equal importance. These men, who were 
viewed with infinite contempt and detestation by those who 
believed that to submit to taxation, unaccompanied by re- 
presentation, was the essence of slavery, were denominated 
tories ; and were exposed to the resentment of their neighbours 
who entertained the prevailing opinions. 

* The nominal government not having been yet changed, and 
all concurring in professions of allegiance to the British crown, 
even after hostilities had commenced, no pains or penalties 
could be ordained by law for persons of this description ; but 
they were held up as enemies to the liberties of America, after 
which their condition was worse than if subjected to prosecu- 
tion, according to legal rules, for offences against established 
laws.' ^ 

' Marshairs Lift of Washington, vol. iii. pp. 48-50. 

2 E 



J^^^ NOTE J 



8ee page < Whereas taxation by the Parliament of Great Britain for 

^^^' the purpose of raising a Revenue in His Majesty's Colonies, 

Provinces and Plantations in North America has been found 
by Experience to occasion great uneasiness and disorders among 
His Majesty's faithful subjects who may nevertheless be dis- 
posed to acknowledge the justice of contributing to the common 
Defence of the Empire provided such contribution should be 
raised under the authority of the General Court or General 
Assembly of each respective Colony, Province or Plantation. . . . 
May it please your Majesty that it be declared and enacted and 
it is hereby declared and enacted. . . . That from and after 
the passing of this Act the King and Parliament of Great 
Britain will not impose any Duty, Tax or Assessment whatever, 
payable in any of His Majesty's Colonies, Provinces or Planta- 
tions in N. America or the West Indies; except only such 
duties as it may be expedient to impose for the Regulation of 
Commerce : the net produce of such duties to be always paid 
and applied to and for the use of the Colony, Province or 
Plantation in which the same shalf be respectively levied in 
such manner as other duties collected by the authority of the 
Respective General Courts or General Assemblies of such 
Colonies etc. are ordinarily paid and applied. 

'XL And be it further enacted . . . That, from and after 
the passing of this act, so much of an act made in the seventh 
year of his present Majesty's reign intituled "An act for 
granting certain duties in the British colonies and plantations 
in America "... as imposes a duty on tea imported from Great 
Britain into any Colony or Plantation in America, or has relations 
to the said duty, be, and the same is, hereby repealed.' ^ 

1 18 G«o. in. c. 12 (1778). SialvX^ al Lmrgt, vol. xiii. p. 180. 




Map of 


to illustrate Chapter VII 

»9e 419. 




The independence of the United States of America chap. 


was formally established by the second Peace of .^^^^^^^^^^ 
Paris signed at Versailles in January 1783. In the The 
last chapter the disruption of the Commonwealth has R^oiuTion 
been represented as the inevitable consequence of a ^f^j.^^* 
statesmanship in England which was unable to rise English 
above the maxims of the commercial system. A systei 
variety of causes had long been disposing the minds 
of the colonists towards separation. From the cir- 
cumstances which led to their settlement in America 
they were out of sympathy in various ways with the 
ruling classes in Britain. More earnest in their 
religion, cleaner in their personal morality, at once 
purer and more democratic in their politics and of a 
simpler and more wholesome manner of life, they 
were disposed to regard Britain much as Bunyan's 
pilgrim regarded the City of Destruction. On these 
and other contributory causes of the Revolution 
many volumes have been written, but for the pur- 
pose of the present inquiry it is needless to dwell 
upon them, unless it is contended that, had all these 
merely contributory causes been reversed, the result 
in the end might have been other than it was. 
Suppose that the religion, morals, and manners of 
American society had been those of the ruling classes 
at home, and had changed in sympathy with the 
changes that there took place, is it conceivable even 





A similar 

system in 





SO that the relations of the two peoples could have 
remamed subject to the principles of the commercial 
system ? The United States of America now contain 
more than 100,000,000 souls. Can we conceive this 
vast aggregate of human beings in the political 
situation that was occupied by the colonists of 
Virginia and New England? Can any sane mind 
imagine the foreign relations of North America con- 
ducted to-day by a government responsible only to 
the 45,000,000 inhabitants of the British Isles ? 
If not, it is enough for an inquiry like this to 
examine the one cause which must, if it continued, 
have compelled the colonists to assume independence 
in external as well as internal affairs. It is not a 
very rash statement to say that, unless the people 
of Great Britain had managed to admit the Americans 
to a common responsibiUty for foreign affairs, the 
Americans must in any case have assumed that 
responsibility for themselves. 

An attempt on the part of Scotland to do this 
very thing and the results which followed have been 
dealt with in Chapter V. A similar attempt on the 
part of Ireland was the immediate result of the 
American Revolution. The close connection of Irish 
with colonial affairs was ho mere accident. The 
Irish problem hinges on the fact that Ireland was the 
earliest field of English and Scottish colonization. 




of Ireland 
in early 


The arm of the sea which divides Calais from 
Dover has enabled the English to develop a civiliza- 
tion of their own, differing in important respects 
from that of Europe. The strait which divides them 
from Ireland is thtee times as wide, with the result 


that till recent times the people of England have ohap. 
been in closer contact with those of Western Europe 
than with those of Ireland. A glance at the map, 
however, is enough to show that the fortunes of the 
two islands are inseparably connected. A situation 
which thus enforces connection while discouraging 
intimacy is the key to the misfortunes which have 
overtaken the smaller and more secluded of the two 
peoples. From the outset of their common history 
this situation has operated to the prejudice of Ire- 
land. Britain in a state of barbarism was a constant 
menace to the civilization established by the Romans 
in Gaul, and had to be brought under Roman rule. 
Agricola, who accomplished this work, saw that in 78-85 a. d. 
time the pax Romana established in Britain would 
be threatened in turn from Ireland and advised, but 
never attempted, its conquest ; nor did any of his 
successors. ' It was probably a misfortune that Ire- 
land never passed, like the rest of Europe, under the 
subjection of the Romans, who bequeathed, wherever 
they ruled, the elements of Latin civilisation, and 
also those habits of national organisation in which 
they were pre-eminent.' * Had St. George's Channel 
been no wider than the Straits of Dover, it is at 
least more likely that Rome would have dissolved 
the tribal system in Ireland and given to its people 
a unity which they have never since been able to 
achieve. The Irish seem to have advanced to a state 
of culture as high as can be attained within the 
limits inexorably imposed by a tribal condition of 
society. In the chaos which followed the collapse 
of the Roman Empire the seclusion of the island 
served, in some measure to protect its people from 
external foes. Under the protection of its monas- 
teries Celtic literature and art attained their highest 

^ Lecky, History of Ireland in the Eighteenth Century, vol. i. p. 2. In 
future this authority will be referred to as Lecky, History of Ireland. 


CHAP, development, and Irish missionaries carried Chris- 
tianity to Northumberland and to the barbarians 
of Northern Europe. * From Ireland/ in the words 
of St. Bernard, 'as from an overflowing stream, 
crowds of holy men descended upon foreign countries.' ^ 
Survival Nevertheless, outside the monasteries the tribal 

tribal system remained undisturbed. Tribal custom, known 
system. ^ ^j^^ Brehou law, was recorded with care and 
invested with sanctity. * But there was no authority 
except public opinion to enforce payment of the fines 
determined by the brehon in cases submitted to 
him.' ^ By the twelfth century Ireland had attained 
no greater unity than existed in England before the 
time of Egbert, 
introdac- In the twelfth century feudalism had been 
feudaHsm thoroughly established in England, but it was subject 
stron^^-**^ to a monarchy strong enough to hold the feudal 
bow. chiefe in subjection to a common government and 

thus to impose upon the country the habit of 
obedience to a common government. The whole of 
England was parcelled out in fiefs, and the Crown 
had no more lands with which to reward military 
retainers who had inherited none for themselves. It 
was natural, therefore, for the kings to think of 
Ireland as a possible field for feudal colonization, and 
the internal weakness of the country was such as to 
invite the attempt. The opportunity occurred when 
Diarmait Machmaida, paramount chief of Leinster, 
being worsted in a tribal affray, sought the aid of 
Henry II., who authorized him to obtain the assist- 
ance of some of his more impecunious retainers. At 
Bristol Diarmait obtained the assistance of Richard 
de Claire, Earl of Pembroke, better known as ^trong- 
bow, a nobleman of great ability butr broken fortunes. 
Strongbow asked for and obtained the hand of 

* Lecky, History of Ireland^ vol. i. pp. 242-3. 

* Quiggin, Ency. Brit, vol. xiv. p. 770, 11th eA 


Diarmait 8 daughter Eva. Under feudal law this ohar 
marriage would have made him heir to all the rights 
of Diarmait in Leinster ; but under the tribal law of 
Ireland it gave him no rights to the communal land, 
which was the joint property of the tribe. Thus in 
the twelfth century appears the same collision of 
legal systems which led to the native wars in South 
Africa and in New Zealand, and complicates to this 
day the relations of the native with the colonist. 
Strongbow eventually landed in Ireland with a strong 
force and asserted what he supposed to be his rights. 
In accordance with the agreement Diarmait pro- 
ceeded to grant the territory of Wexford as fiefe to 
Strongbow's allies, Robert Fitzstephen and Maurice 
Fitzgerald. Such grants, however, were utterly at 
variance with the principles of native law. 

Henry II. was quick to perceive that Strongbow Henry ii. 
might become as dangerous to himself as his own fe'S'as 
ancestors had been to the Kings of France. In 1172 l]^2^^^' 
he crossed to Ireland with a strong force and exacted 
the homage not only of the invaders but of the Irish 
chiefs, who did not in the least appreciate the signi^ 
ficance of their act. England owes much to the 
assertion by Henry II. of his authority over the 
Norman nobles ; but in Ireland he was quite unable 
to control the adventurers, and contented himself 
with exercising a nominal authority over them 
through a Viceroy. The adventurers proceeded to 
carve out fiefs for themselves; but their conquests 
were. largely limited to the open valleys, and the 
Celtic tribes remained in undisputed possession of 
the mountainous districts. The Norman conquerors Nominal 
were rapidly absorbed into Irish society, and be- of^E^giuh 
came tribal chiefs rather than feudal nobles. The '^^^®' 
authority of the King was purely nominal, and did 
not avail to impose upon the nobles and their fol- 
lowers, as in England, a habit of obedience to a 








common government. The Irish people were neither 
incorporated like the Welsh as part of the British 
state, nor did they become a separate state. It was 
Edward I. who in England placed the final seal on 
the work begun by William the Conqueror and con- 
tinued by Henry 11. , as a result of which the King's 
writ ran through every county of England, order 
was established, and every one. irrespective of rank 
or station, was accustomed to obey the national 
Government. The history of the British Empire 
would have been very different if he and his successors 
had been strong enough to accomplish the same task 
in Ireland. Wanting that strength, they fell back 
on the fatal expedient of maintaining an appearance 
of authority by keeping Ireland divided against itself 
When Robert D'Ufford in 1298 was called upon by 
Edward to account for the state of disorder in Ire- 
land, he explained that ^ he thought it expedient to 
wink at one knave cutting off another,' whereat the 
King smiled and bade him return to Ireland. 

The English had long traded with Ireland, with 
the consequence which invariably follows, when a 
more orderly community begins to trade with one 
more backward than itself, that they formed settle- 
ments on the coast, just as in the seventeenth century 
English trading posts were established on the coasts 
of India. It is perhaps more accurate to say that 
they utilized and developed Norse settlements already 
established at the most convenient harbours, those of 
Dublin, Wexford, Waterford, and Cork. The area or 
' Pale ' contBoUed by these colonies tended to include 
the surrounding country in proportion to the growth 
of English power. While England was weakened by 
the Wars of the Roses, the area began to contract, 
till, except in the case of Dublin, it vanished alto- 
gether. Even there the English Pale became so 
small ^nd difficult to hold that it was protected by 


a ditch. Within the Pale the English colonists ruled ohap. 


the Celtic inhabitants, and, as happens to some extent ^..,„,^^.„^ 
at the present day in South Africa, the colonists 
reserved their own law to themselves, while governing 
the natives under native law, an arrangement fruitful 
in inequalities. It meant, for instance, that while 
the murder of an Englishman was punished only with 
death, the murder of an Irishman involved nothing, 
more serious than a fine. When the Irish inhabitants 
of the Pale offered to purchase the privilege of Eng- 
lish law for a large sum, their petition was refused 
by the Government at the instance of the English 
prelates and nobles. The colonists, deeply concerned 
to maintain themselves as a separate race and caste, 
compelled the sons of labourers to follow their fathers' 
vocation, and excluded the natives from the patronage 
of the Ohurch. While endeavouring, however, to Fruitless 
prevent the natives from rising to their own level, to ™^ 
the colonists were unable to avoid sinking to that of EnS^" 
the Irish. Regulations such as those forbidding aacend- 
Englishmen to wear moustaches after the fashion 
of the natives reveal a consciousness of their own 
tendency to merge into the primitive society which 
surrounded them. 

* Irish modes of life long continued to exercise an 
irresistible attraction over many of the colonists ; but 
it was inevitable, in such a situation and at such a 
time, that those who resisted that attraction, and 
who formed the nucleus of the English power, should 
look upon the Irish as later colonists looked upon the 
Red Indians — as being, like wild beasts, beyond the 
pale of the moral law. Intermarriage with them was 
forbidden by stringent penalties, and many savage 
laws were made to maintain the distinction. "It 
was manifest," says Sir John Davis, "that such as 
had the government of Ireland under the crown of 
England did intend to make a perpetual separation 



The first 
c, 1295. 

CHAP, and enmity between the English and Irish, pretend- 
ing, no doubt, that the English should, in the end, 
root out the Irish." A sentiment very common in 
the Pale was expressed by those martial monks who 
taught that it was no more sin to kill an Irishman 
than to kill a dog; and that, whenever, as often 
happened, they killed an Irishman, they would not 
on that account refrain from celebrating Mass even 
for a single day.'^ 

When in 1295 Edward I. summoned representatives 
of the English counties and towns to discuss with 
him the affairs of state and frimish him with the 
necessary supplies, he instructed his Viceroy to adopt 
the same procedure in Ireland. The colonists accord- 
ingly were summoned to send representatives to 
Dublin. As in England, the practice became estab- 
lished, and the representatives at Dublin rapidly 
acquired the power of making laws for themselves 
subject to the assent of the King's deputy, which 
was often granted with little or no reference to the 
King himself. In 1459, when England was distracted 
ofTr^andT ^1 ^^ Wars of the Roses, they anticipated the action 
of the American colonies by denying that Ireland 
was subject to the laws and statutes of England. The 
Anglo-Irish colony adhered to the Yorkist faction, and 
it was there that Richard of York gathered strength to 
attack the House of Lancaster. It was there that the 
rebellion of Lambert Simnel was hatched in 1487, to 
end in the Battle of Stoke where, as Bacon remarks, 
' the Irish did not fail in courage or fierceness but 
being almost naked men only armed with darts and 
skeens it was rather an execution than a fight upon 
them.' Presently Perkin Warbeck, a Flemish appren- 
tice to a silk merchant in Cork, was put forward by 
the Yorkist party as rightful heir to the throne and 
was recognized as King of Ireland by the colonial 

* Lecky, History of Ireland^ vol. i. p. 4. 







Parliament. His claims were a source of anxiety to ohap. 


Henry VH. until, after attempting to invade England, ^^^^^.^^.^^^ 
he was at length captured and executed in 1499. 1499. 

Henry VII. recognized that no ruler could secure Poyniug's 
his position in England until he had asserted his no ' 
authority in Ireland, and determined to end the ^^^J^t^ 
practice in accordance with which the deputy and m Ireland 

^ ^ _ ^ . . unless first 

his colonial Parliament made laws with little or no approved 

bv tilie 

reference to the King himself. Accordingly he sent English 
to Ireland as Lord Deputy, Sir Edward Poyning, ^^IcH 
who summoned a Parliament which, at his instance, 
enacted a law providing that in future no Parliament 
should be summoned without the consent of the King, 
and that no business should be laid before it when 
summoned which had not been considered and ap- 
proved by the King in council. By a further act 
the existing statute law of England was applied to 
Ireland. Parliament, of course, represented no one 
but the English colonists, whose authority was con- 
fined to their fortified settlements on the coast. 
Beyond those limits the English settlers had merged 
into the Celtic society about them and had adopted 
the language and habits of the natives. The only 
authority recognized was that of the chiefe, including 
those of Norman descent, who were constantly at 
feud with one another. The colonists were in no 
position therefore to assert their independence of the 
English Government. Henry VII. could afford to 
despise their Parliament, and it was the Viceroy's 
independence, rather than theirs, which Poyning's 
Law was intended to restrict. Henceforward no law 
could be made in Ireland any more than in England 
without the approval of the King himself. 

At the very moment when Poyning's Law was Ireland a 
passed, Columbus was opening the route to America, the 
and within three years Vasco da Gama had landed gp-n^^o?^ 
on the coast of India. * The great impulse which the *^« '^^^^ 



CHAP, discovery of the New World and the religious changes 
of the sixteenth century had imparted to the intellect 
and character of Europe, was shown in England in 
an exuberance of many-sided activity equalled in no 
previous portion of her history. It produced among 
other consequences an extraordinary growth of the 
spirit of adventure, a distaste for routine, an extreme 
desire to discover new and rapid paths to wealth. 
This spirit showed itself in the immense development 
of maritime enterprise both in the form of discovery 
and in the form of piracy, and still more strongly in 
the passion for Irish land. The idea that it was 
possible to obtain, at a few hours' or days' journey 
from the English coasts, and at little or no cost, great 
tracts of fertile territory, and to amass in a few 
years gigantic fortunes, took hold upon the English 
mind with a fascination much like that which was 
exercised by the fables of the exhaustless riches of 
India in the days of Clive and of Hastings. The 
Government warmly encouraged it. They believed 
that the one effectual policy for making Ireland useful 
to England was, in the words of Sir John Davis, " to 
root out the Irish " from the soil, to confiscate the 
property of the septs, and plant the country syste- 
matically with English tenants. There were chronic 
disturbances between the English Grovernment and 
the Irish , chie&, who were in reality almost inde- 
pendent sovereigns, and these were made the pretexts 
for gigantic confiscations ; and as the hunger for land 
became more intense, and the number of English 
adventurers increased, other methods were employed. 
A race of discoverers were called into existence who 
fabricated stories of plots, who scrutinised the titles 
of Irish chiefs with all the severity of English law, 
and who, before suborned or intimidated juries, and 
on the ground of technical flaws, obtained confiscations. 
Many Irish proprietors were executed on the most 



frivolous pretexts, and these methods of obtaining chap. 
confiscations were so systematically and skilfully re- .^^^^^^,.^^^ 
sorted to, that it soon became evident to chiefs and 
people that it was the settled policy of the English 
Grovemment to deprive them of their land.' ^ 

The darkest pages of history are those in which The 
European adventurers are seen using the achievements engendered 
of their civilization for the destruction of more J^L^^^®*^' 

ence in 

primitive peoples. In Ireland it would seem as civilization 


though fate had decreed that no irony should be by 
wanting to complete the tragedy. Unlike the natives JuffS^^cs 
of Africa and America the Irish were Europeans, no 
less capable than any European race of responding 
to civilizing influences which came within their reach, 
or of evolving a civilization for themselves. They 
were just too near for the English to let them alone, 
and yet too far to be incorporated in the English 
state and share in the development of its civilization. 
Except for its reUgion, Irish society was a survival 
of Western Europe before its inclusion in the Roman 
Empire. The Irish had adopted Christianity before 
the Vo,, them,el.», «>d fldeUty to their'^ndent 
creed was now to contribute to their ruin. The 
Reformation was closely associated in England with 
the cause of freedom, and when Elizabeth ascended 
the throne Catholicism was identified with the forces 
which were endeavouring to crush the English Common- 
wealth. The Church reformed^ on English lines was' 
formally estabHshed in Ireland. But the Irish clung 
to CathoHcism and were regarded as an outpost of 
continental autocracy. Religious opinion instead of 
restraining, encouraged and sanctioned the rapacity 
of the adventurers who descended on Ireland. ' The Rebellions 
slaughter of Irishmen was looked upon as literally reprisals 
the slaughter of wild beasts. Not only the men, but E^^beth. 
even the women and children who fell into the hands 

^ Lecky, History of Ireland, voL i pp.. 13-14. 


CHAP, of the English, were deliberately and systematically 
^" butchered. Bands of soldiers traversed great tracts 
of country, slaying every living thing they met. 
The sword was not found sufficiently expeditious, but 
another method proved much more efficacious. Year 
after year, over a great part of Ireland, all means of 
human subsistence were destroyed, no quarter was 
given to prisoners who surrendered, and the whole 
population was skilfully and steadily starved to death. 
The pictures of the condition of Ireland at this time 
are as terrible as anything in human history. Thus 
Spenser, describing what he had seen in Munster, 
tells how, "out of every corner of the woods and 
glens, they came creeping forth upon their hands, for 
their legs could not bear them. They looked like 
aaatomies of death ; they spoke like ghosts crying 
out of their graves ; they did eat the dead carrion, 
happy when they could find them; yea, and one 
another soon after, inasmuch as the very carcases they 
spared not to scrape out of their graves." ... In 
Ulster the war was conducted in a similar spirit. . . . 
" No spectacle was more frequent in the ditches of 
towns, and especially in wasted countries, than to 
see multitudes of these poor people dead, with their 
mouths all coloured green by eating nettles, docks, 
and all things they could rend above ground." . 
In the neighbourhood of Newry, famine produced a 
new and appalling crime. It was discovered that 
some old women were accustomed, by lighting fires, 
to attract children, whom they murdered and de- 
voured. At last, hunger and the sword accomplished 
their work .... and the English ascendency was 
supreme. . . . The English ascendency brought with 
it two new and lasting consequences, the proscrip- 
tion of the Irish religion and the confiscation of the 
Irish soU.' ' 

* Lecky, History of Ireland, vol. i. pp. 6-6, 8-10. 


Naturally the Irish stretched out their hands for chap. 

, yjj 

assistance to Catholic countries, and Spain saw in ,,^^,^..,^^.^^ 
Ireland a possible base for the invasion of England. Spanish 
' A small expedition of Spaniards, with some English ^'^^*®*^°*- 
and Irish refugees, landed at Smerwicke in Kerry in 
1579 to support the rebellion of Desmond, but they 1579. 
were besieged by the English, and after a hard 
struggle the survivors, numbering about 600, sur- 
rendered at discretion, and, except the officers who 
were reserved for ransom, were put to death, as well 
as some women who were found with them in the 
fort. A larger expedition of about 3,500 men landed 
in Einsale in 1601, and was joined by the followers 
of O'Donnell and Tyrone, but it was surprised and 
defeated by the English. The Spaniards were allowed 
to retire to their own country, and O'Donnell and 
many other Irish accompanied them, and planted in 
a happier soil families which in more than one in- 
stance produced noble fruit. From this time it was 
noticed that Irish exiles were scattered widely over 
the Continent. Great numbers of the old nobility 
of the land fought and fell under foreign flags, and 
'' found their graves in strange places ^nd unhereditary 
churches." ' ^ 

As normally happens when Europeans invade the Exteiisive 
territories of a primitive people, the English ignored ^"S"^ 
a semi-communal system of tenure which they did ^^^®^®- 
not understand. ' Under the clan system it may easily 
be conceived what passionate indignation must have 
been excited by the attempt to expel the old chiefs 
from their property, and to replace them by new 
owners who had no single object except to amass 
rapid fortunes, who had no single sympathy or interest 
in common with the natives. But this was not all. 
The Irish land customs of tanistry and gavelkind, as 
established by the Brehon laws, were still in full force 

^ Lecky, History of Ireland, vol. L pp. 11-12. 





tion of 
for Irish 
of land 

among the Irish tribes. According to this system, 
the chief was not, like an English landlord, owner in 
fee of his land ; he was elected, though only out of 
a single family, and the clan had a vested interest in 
the soil. The humblest clansman was a co-proprietor 
with his chief : he was subject, indeed, to many ex- 
actions in the form of tribute that were extremely 
burdensome and oppressive, but he could not be 
ejected, and he had large rights of inheritance of 
common land. His position was wholly different from, 
and in some respects it was superior to, that of an 
English tenant. In the confiscations these rights were 
completely disregarded. It was assumed, in spite of 
immemorial usage, that the land was the absolute, 
hereditary property of the chiefs, and that no com- 
pensation was due to their tenants; and in this 
manner the confiscation of territory became a burning 
grievance to the humblest clansman.' ^ It was only 
in Connaught that the rights of the Irish received 
recognition. There Sir John Perrot, instead of ignor- 
ing their communal rights, converted them into indi- 
vidual tenure or divided them in accordance with the 
notions of English law. Elsewhere the natives were 
ruthlessly dispossessed, and those who survived were 
allowed to remain only in the condition of day 
labourers or ploughmen. 

Immediately, however, they began to reassert their 
hold on the soil. It is the constant complaint among 
the European population of South Africa that great 
landowners find it more profitable to lease their land 
to natives than to whites, and so it was with the 
Irish. ' Accustomed to live in wretched poverty, 
they could pay larger rents than the English ; their 
local knowledge gave them great advantages; they 
were unmolested by the numerous robbers who had 
begun to swarm in the woods ; and after the lapse of 

^ Lecky, History of Ireland^ vol. i. pp. 15-16. 


ten years from the commencement of the Settlement, ohap. 
Spenser complained that the new proprietors, " instead 
of keeping out the Irish, doe not only make the Irish 
their tenants in those lands and thrust out the English, 
but also some of them become mere Irish." '} There 
is reason for believing that Spenser's own grandson 
was dispossessed of land under the Cromwellian 
settlement as a rebel Irishman. 

The process already described was continued by The 
James I., and henceforward Ireland was exploited by pj^nution 
Scotland as well as England. By a decision of the ^^ Ulster 

o ^ J ^ under 

King's Bench, the tribal rights recognized under the James i. 


Brehon law were declared illegal, and Ulster was 
colonized by Scottish settlers. Native reserves were 
at first made, as in Connaught, but in neither case 
were they long respected. Thenceforward the process 
of expropriation was furthered by legal tricks to 
which the sanction of law was accorded by a corrupt 
judiciary. The law as well as the religion of the 
conquerors was thus perverted to the undoing of the 
Irish people. 

In England, meanwhile, the struggle of the Com- Strafford 
monwealth with autocracy was fast approaching its i^38!9*" ' 
crisis, and Ireland became a pawn in the game. 
Charles I. sent Wentworth as his Viceroy to Ireland 
to raise there revenues and forces which would relieve 
him from the necessity of applying to an English 
Parliament for suppUes. With this end in view the 
natives were driven from the lands which Perrot had 
secured to them in Connaught. Wentworth was re- 
called, impeached by Parliament, and executed in 
1641 ; but the Puritans, who were exhorting the 
King to enforce the laws against the Catholics, were 
little disposed to protect the Irish natives. Parlia- 
ment, like the. King, had parasites of its own who 
looked on Irish land as their lawful spoil. Sir William 

* Lecky, Histcry of Irelatidy vol. i. pp. 18-19. 

2 F 




The Irish 

■Charles I. 
in the 
Civil "War, 

Parsons 'ardently desired and purposely stimulated 
rebellion in order to reap a new crop of confiscations/^ 

* The Lords Justices, and crowds of hungry adven- 
turers, saw with keen delight the opportunity of 
obtaining that general confiscation of Irish lands at 
which they had been so long and so flagitiously 
aiming, and of carving out fortunes on a larger scale 
than in any previous period. Lord Castlehaven 
assures us it was a common saying among them that 
** the more were in the rebellion, the more lands 
should be forfeited to them." ' ^ ' Week after week, 
as the attitude of the English Parliament became 
more hostile, the panic in Ireland spread and 
deepened.' * In October 1641 the rebellion began 
with a number of murders but with no general 
massacre. ' From the very beginning the English 
Parliament did the utmost in its power to give the 
contest the character of a war of extermination.'* 
It was the boast of Pym himself 'that the Parliament 
would not leave one priest in Ireland.' ^ In December 
the English House of Commons resolved that the 
Catholic religion should not be tolerated in Ireland, 
and * thus at once extended the range of the rebellion 
and gave it the character of a war of religion.' ® 

In May 1642 the Catholic clergy declared the war 
against the English Parliament to be just and legal, 
seeing that it was waged not only for the defence of 
the Catholic religion but also for the maintenance of 
the royal prerogative. Not only was the aid of the 
Pope invoked but also that of the Kings of France 
and Spain. Many of the old English colonists, who 
remained Catholic and were cavaliers by sympathy, 
threw in their lot with the rebellion. In England 
the King and Parliament were actually at war, and 

* Lecky, History of Irelarid, vol. i. p. 42. 
» Ibid, p. 42. 
» Ibid. p. 40. 

2 Ibid, p. 70-1. 

* Ibid. p. 82. 

• Ibid, p. 82. 



the Irish rebels, to legalize their position, produced chap. 
a commission from Charley which may have been ,J^ 
genuine. It suited the Puritan book to identify 
them with the Bojalist cause, and in 1644 Charles 
with a gaipbler's desperation resolved to land Irish 
Catholics in Britain in order to crush the Puritan 
forces of Scotland and England. ' The Parliaments, 
both in England and Scodand, passed ordinances in 
1644 that no quarter should be given to Irish who 
came to England to the King's aid. These ordinances 
were rigidly executed, and great numbers of Irish 
soldiers being taken prisoners in Scotland were 
deliberately butchered in the field or in the prisons. 
Irishmen taken at sea were tied back to back and 
thrown into the waves. In one day eighty women 
and children in Scotland were flung over a high 
bridge into the water, solely because they were the 
wives and children of Irish soldiers. 

* If this was the spirit in which the war was con- Massacres 
ducted in Great Britain, it may easily be conceived ^" "*" • 
how it was conducted in Ireland. In Leinster, where 
assuredly no massacre had been committed, the orders 
issued to the soldiers were not only " to kill and 
destroy rebels and their adherents and relievers, but 
to burn, waste, consume, and demolish all the places, 
towns, and houses where they had been relieved and 
harboured, with all the com and hay therein ; and 
also to kill and destroy all the men there inhabiting 
capable to bear arms." But, horrible as were these 
instructions, they but faintly foreshadowed the 
manner in which the war was actually conducted. 
I shall not attempt to go through the long catalogue 
of horrors that have been too often paraded; it is 
sufficient to say that the soldiers of Sir Charles 
Coote, of St. Leger, of Sir Frederick Hamilton, and 
of others, rivalled the worst crimes that were per- 
petrated in the days of Carew and of Mountjoy. 


CHAP. " The soldiers," says Carte, " in executing the orders 
^^^^^^^^^^ of the justices, murdered all persons promiscuously, 
not sparing (as they themselves tell the Commissionei*s 
for Irish Affairs in the letter of June 7, 1642) the 
women, and sometimes not children." Whole villages 
as well as the houses of the gentry were remorselessly 
burnt even when not an enemy was seen. In 
Wicklow, in the words of Leland, Coote committed 
" such unprovoked, such ruthless and indiscriminate 
carnage in the town, as rivalled the utmost extrava- 
gance of the Northerns." The saying " Nits will 
make lice," which was constantly employed to justify 
the murder of Irish children, then came into use.' * 
Cromwell's At length in 1649, Cromwell, having crushed the 
^"ireiand, Royalists in England, turned his attention to the 
1649. pacification of Ireland, where he quickly overpowered 
the Catholic forces. * It should always be remembered 
to his honour that one of his first acts on going to 
Ireland was to prohibit the plunderings and other 
outrages the soldiers had been accustomed to practise, 
and that he established a severe discipline in his 
army. The sieges of Drogheda and Wexford, how- 
ever, and the massacres that accompanied them, 
deserve to rank in horror with the most atrocious 
exploits of Tilly or Wallenstein, and they made the 
name of Cromwell eternally hated in Ireland. . . . 
Among the English soldiers who were present at this 
siege was the brother of Anthony Wood, the well- 
known historian of Oxford, and the vivid and most 
authentic glimpse of this episode of Puritan warfare 
which that accurate and painstaking writer has given 
us in his autobiography, furnishes the best commentary 
on the language of Cromwell. He relates how his 
brother " would tell them of the most terrible assault- 
ing and storming of Tredagh, where he himself had 
been engaged. He told them that 3,000 at least, 

* Lecky, History of Irelamd^ vol. i. pp. 88-5. 


besides some women and children, were, after the chap. 
assailants had taken part and afterwards all the 
town, put to the sword on September 11 and 12, 
1649, at which time Sir Arthur Aston, the governor, 
had his brains beat out and his body hacked to 
pieces. He told them that when they were to make 
their way up to the lofts and galleries of the church 
and up to the tower where the enemy had fled, each 
of the assailants would take up a child and use it as 
a buckler of defence when they ascended the steps, 
to keep themselves from being shot or brained. After 
they had killed all in the church, they went into the 
vaults underneath, where all, the flower and choicest 
of the women and ladies had hid themselves. One 
of these, a most handsome virgin arraid in costly and 
gorgeous apparel, kneeled down to Thomas Wood 
with tears and prayers to save her life, and being 
stricken with a profound pitie^ he took her under his 
arm, went with her out of the church with intentions 
to put her over the works to shift for herself, but a 
soldier perceiving his intentions he ran his sword 
through her . , . whereupon Mr. Wood, seeing her 
gasping, took away her money, jewels, etc., and flung 
her down over the works." ' ^ 

Of a population reckoned at 1,466,000 when the His 
war began, over 616,000 or close on half are esti- ^ifi^.^ 
mated to have perished before its close in 1652. *^°°^ 
Slave dealers were then let loose on the land, who 
shipped the destitute children of the dead to Bar- 
badoes. The abuses became such that the Puritan 
Government which had for some time cordially sup- 
ported the system made vain efforts to stop it. * All 
or almost all the land of the Irish in the three largest 
and richest provinces was confiscated, and divided 
among those adventurers who had lent money to the 
Parliament, and among the Puritan soldiers, whose 

^ Lecky, Uiatory of IreXcmd^ vol. i. pp. 101-3. 


CHAP, pay was greatly in arrear. The Irish who were con- 
sidered least guilty were assigned land in Connaught, 
and that province, which rock and morass have 
doomed to a perpetual poverty, and which was at 
this time almost desolated by famine and by massacre, 
was assigned as the home of the Irish race. The 
confiscations were arranged under diflFerent categories ; 
but they were of such a nature that scarcely any 
Catholic or even old Protestant landlord could escape. 
All persons who had taken part in the rebellion before 
November 10, 1642, all who had before that date 
assisted the rebels with food or in any other way, 
and also about one hundred specified persons, includ- 
ing Ormond, Bishop Bramhall, and a great part of 
the aristocracy of Ireland, were condemned to death 
and to the absolute forfeiture of their estates. All 
other landowners who had at any period borne arms 
against the Parliament, either for the rebels or for 
the King, were to be deprived of their estates, but 
were promised land of a third of the value in Con- 
naught. If, however, they had held a higher rank 
than major, they were to be banished from Ireland. 
Papists who during the whole of the long war had 
never borne arms against the Parliament, but who 
had not manifested a "constant good affection" 
towards it, were to be deprived of their estates, but 
were to receive two-thirds of the value in Connaught. 
Under this head were included all who lived quietly 
in their houses in quarters occupied by the rebels or 
by the King's troops, who had paid taxes to the rebels 
or to the King after his rupture with the Parlia- 
ment, who had abstained from actively supporting 
the cause of the Parliament. Such a confiscation was 
practically universal.' ^ 

Cromwell, however, was far too great a statesman 
to believe that the Irish problem could be per- 

^ Lecky, History of Ireland^ vol. i. pp. 105-6. 


manently solved by mere ruthlessness, or even by chap. 
the establishment of a military colony. He realized 
that, if Ireland as well as Scotland was ever to be irUh 
incorporated in the Commonwealth, its people must TOmnonod 
share in the general government. Under his Pro- p ^. 
tectorate Ireland, like Scotland, sent thirty members ment at 
to the Parliament of Westminster. But, as in the minster 
case of Scotland, his work was undone at the Re- jS^^tw- 
storation, for no Irish members were summoned by **^ ^^^ 

• "^ not under 

Charles II. to the English Parliament. It is not too theRestor- 
much to say that the history of the world would 
have been different had representatives of the Irish 
people continued to meet those of England in a 
common assembly. 

When Charles 11. was restored to the throne, his 166O. 
Catholic supporters in Ireland naturally expected to 
regain their lands. But Charles dared not face the 
fury of the Cromwellian settlers. A period of the 
utmost confusion followed, in which the original 
owners got little or nothing. When, however, the 
Catholic James II. had been driven from England he James 11. 
landed in Ireland in 1689 and identified his cause ^39! 
with theirs. Once again the cause of reaction in 
England found in neglected Ireland its natural sup- 
port. James summoned a Catholic Parliament, which 
hastened to revise the Cromwellian settlement and 
to restore the land to the Catholic party. Ireland 
now became a pawn in the long struggle between 
William of Orange and Louis XIV., who was sup- 
porting James. Beaten at the battle of the Boyne, The 
James fled to France in 1690, and at the end of theBojme, 
the following year the last of the Catholic forces ^^*^- 
surrendered at Limerick. A promise of reUgious 
liberty was included in the terms of surrender but 
never fulfilled. 

Though a stream of Protestant immigrants con- 
tinued to flow for several decades from Scotland, 


CHAP, it will be convenient to pause at this juncture to 
^^^^^^^ examine the composition of Irish society. By the 
Composi- sixteenth century the ' old Englishry,' as those were 
irish^^ called who had settled beyond the coast towns, had 
rft^'~ been largely absorbed by the * Irishry/ They inter- 
irishryand married with them, spoke Erse, and adopted their 
Etiffiiahry, tribal customs. At the Reformation they adhered, 
catkoiic ; together with the Irishry, to the Catholic religion. 
(6) the Only the colonists who were segregated in the 

th^^Paie,^ coast towHS retained their English character and 
Siu^n • embraced the principles of the Reformation. For 
them was officially established a colonial Church 
modelled on the same lines as the reformed Church 
of England, an episcopal organization acknowledging 
the King as its head. The settlers who appropriated 
the land in the reign of Elizabeth belonged to the 
Church of England and coalesced with the sister 
Church in Ireland, which, as in England, appro- 
priated such church buildings as survived the 
cataclysm of conquest. 
(c)the A third element was introduced by the Scottish 

settlers, colouizatiou of the North largely encouraged by 
^&n Janaes I. These settlers were mainly Presbyterian 
and violently anti-Catholic, but, from the point of 
view of the Established Church of Ireland, Dissenters. 
Both these Protestant elements were strengthened 
by the successive tides of immigration which swept 
over Ireland till the earlier decades of the eighteenth 
century. The dissenting element was swelled by the 
Cromwellian settlers, many of whom, however, sold 
their titles owing to the insecurity of their position. 
These were largely purchased by Scottish settlers, 
who continued to stream into the North of Ireland 
till shortly after the union of Scotland with England. 
By the beginning of the eighteenth century the Irish 
population was thus divided into three sections. 
Three-quarters were Catholics, including some land- 


owners, gentry, and descendants of the old Englishry. chap. 
But the vast majority of the Catholics were peasants ^^^^^^^^^ 
of mixed origin, in the lowest depth of ignorance and 
degradation. The remaining quarter of the papula- 
tion was divided between members of the Church of 
Ireland and Dissenters. The great majority of land- 
owners and gentry adhered to the Established Church 
of Ireland. The bulk of the Dissenters were farmers 
and artisans, people of the same class as those who 
had colonized New England. Their religious organiza- 
tions, unHke that of the Established Church, were 
active ones, and they constituted the most vigorous 
element in Irish society. 

It was in truth their industry which now brought Trade and 
Ireland within the meshes of the old colonial system, ^ha/in 
The principles of that system, as explained in Chapter 2S!n^ 
IV., were developed by James I. and Charles I. in ^»"<*«- 
fostering colonial projects which originated in the 
form of commercial undertakings. Ireland throughout 
their reigns was too distracted to develop a trade 
valuable enough to claim the attention of the English 
Government. Cromwell's settlers, however, the flower 
of the English farmers and artisans, quickly changed 
all this, and by the time of the Restoration the pro- 
duce of Irish farms and looms had begun to reach 
the English markets. The Civil War had resulted in 
transferring the control of colonial relations from the 
Crown to Parliament. The principles, however, which The 
underlay the commercial arrangements with the ^stem 
colonies remained the same, and were embodied in ^^i^ 
the Navigation Acts of the Long Parliament. Here, trade, 
then, was a colonial policy ready-made, and, the 
moment the Irish colonists developed a trade of their 
own, the principles of that policy were applied to it 
in all their stringency. As with the colonies, the 
English Parliament abstained from drawing revenues 
from Irish taxation into the English Treasury. It 


CHAP, reserved in its own hands the sole responsibility for 

^^^^^^^^^^ naval defence. That was a charge on English industry, 

and therefore the industries of Ireland as well as those 

of the American colonies and Scotland were strictly 

subordinated to what English industrialists regarded 

as their interests. 

strength For more than a century the executive was largely 

^mmerciai coutroUcd by a few noble families, but commercial 

^^ interests were strongly represented in Parliament, 

Eneiish and in all matters affecting trade their voice was 

ment. Considered as final. 'Trade was the Empire,' and 

the classes responsible for trade were treated as the 

determining factor in the settlement of public policy. 

Politics were increasingly treated as though they were 

Adam ' busiucss Writ large.' As Adam Smith pointed out, 

f^;^,,, merchants and master.manu&cturers, from the nature 

selfishness. Qf their occupatiou, are as a class led to devote a 

closer attention to their own material interest than 

other classes of citizens. ' As during their whole Uves 

they are engaged in plans and projects, they have 

frequently more acuteness of understanding than the 

greater part of country gentlemen. As their thoughts, 

however, are commonly exercised rather about the 

interest of their own particular branch of business, 

than about that of the society, their judgment, even 

when given with the greatest candour (which it has 

not been upon every occasion), is much more to be 

depended upon with regard to the former of those 

two objects, than with regard to the latter. Their 

superiority over the country gentleman is, not so 

much in their knowledge of the public interest, as in 

their having a better knowledge of their own interest 

than he has of his. It is by this superior knowledge 

of their own interest that they have frequently im- 

posed upon his generosity, and persuaded him to 

give up both his own interest and that of the public, 

from a very simple but honest conviction, that their 


interest, and not his, was the interest of the public, ohap. 
The interest of the dealers, however, in any particular s^^.,^^,,^ 
branch of trade or manufactures, is always in some Their 
respects different from, and even opposite to, that wiciTnthe 
of the public. To widen the market, and to narrow ™^^^^ 
the competition, is always the interest of the dealers, the oom- 
To widen the market may frequently be agreeable 
enough to the interest of the public ; but to narrow 
the competition must always be ags&nst it, and can 
only serve to enable the dealers, by raising their 
profits above what they naturally would be, to levy, 
for their own benefit, an absurd tax upon the rest 
of th